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Full text of "Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare"

FMFRP 12-18 



Mao Tse-tung 

on 

Guerrilla Warfare 




U.S. Marine Corps 



DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 

PCN 140 121800 00 



DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY 

Headquarters United States Marine Corps 

Washington, DC 20380-0001 

5 April 1989 
FOREWORD 

1. PURPOSE 

Fleet Marine Force Reference Publication (FMFRP) 12-18, Mao Tse-tung 
on Guerrilla Warfare, is published to ensure the retention and dissemi- 
nation of useful information which is not intended to become doctrine 
or to be published in Fleet Marine Force manuals. FMFRPs in the 12 
Series are a special category of publications: reprints of historical works 
which were published commercially and are no longer in print. 

2. SCOPE 

This reference publication is Mao Tse-tung's thoughts and philosophy 
of guerrilla warfare. It gives the reader a chance to learn about this type 
of warfare from one who lived and fought as a guerrilla for most of 
his adult life. It is important to understand his philosophy of guerrilla 
warfare because it is the basis of today's guerrilla forces. The book was 
translated and published with an introduction by Samuel B. Griffith, 
Brigadier General, USMC (Ret.), in 1961. 

3. CERTIFICATION 
Reviewed and approved this date. 

BY DIRECTION OF THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS 




M. P. SULLIVAN 

Major General, U.S. Marine Corps 

Deputy Commander for Warfighting 

Marine Corps Combat Development Command 

Quantico, Virginia 



DISTRIBUTION: "TJK" 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

translated, with an introduction by 

Brigadier General Samuel B. Griffith, USMC (Retired). 

Reprinted with permission of 

Mrs. Belle Gordon Nelson Griffith. 



CONTENTS 



Introduction 

I The Nature of Revolutionary Guerrilla War 3 

II Profile of a Revolutionist 12 

III Strategy, Tactics, and Logistics in Revolutionary War 20 

IV Some Conclusions 27 

Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

Translator's Note 37 

A Further Note 39 

1 What Is Guerrilla Warfare? 41 

2 The Relation of Guerrilla Hostilities to Regular 

Operations 51 

3 Guerrilla Warfare in History 58 

4 Can Victory Be Attained by Guerrilla Operations? 66 

5 Organization for Guerrilla Warfare 71 

How Guerrilla Units Are Originally Formed 71 

The Method of Organizing Guerrilla Regimes 77 

Equipment of Guerrillas 82 

Elements of the Guerrilla Army 85 

6 The Political Problems of Guerrilla Warfare 88 

7 The Strategy of Guerrilla Resistance Against Japan 94 

Appendix 116 



INTRODUCTION 



I 



THE NATURE OF 
REVOLUTIONARY GUERRILLA WAR 



. . . the guerrilla campaigns being waged in China 
today are a page in history that has no precedent. 
Their influence will be confined not solely to China 
in her present anti-Japanese struggle, but will be 
world-wide. 

-Mao Tsh-tung, Yu Chi Chan, 1937 



At one end of the spectrum, ranks of elec- 
k. ironic boxes buried deep in the earth hungrily 
consume data and spew out endless tapes. Scientists and 
engineers confer in air-conditioned offices; missiles are 
checked by intense men who move about them silently, 
almost reverently. In forty minutes, countdown begins. 

At the other end of this spectrum, a tired man wearing a 
greasy felt hat, a tattered shirt, and soiled shorts is seated, 
his back against a tree. Barrel pressed between his knees, 
butt resting on the moist earth between sandaled feet, is 
a Browning automatic rifle. Hooked to his belt, two dirty 
canvas sacks— one holding three home-made bombs, the 
other four magazines loaded with .30-caliber ammunition. 
Draped around his neck, a sausage-like cloth tube with 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

three days' supply of rice. The man stands, raises a water 
bottle to his lips, rinses his mouth, spits out the water. He 
looks about him carefully, corks the bottle, slaps the stock 
of the Browning three times, pauses, slaps it again twice, 
and disappears silently into the shadows. In forty minutes, 
his group of fifteen men will occupy a previously prepared 
ambush. 

It is probable that guerrilla war, nationalist and revolu- 
tionary in nature, will flare up in one or more of half a 
dozen countries during the next few years. These out- 
breaks may not initially be inspired, organized, or led by 
local Communists; indeed, it is probable that they will 
not be. But they will receive the moral support and vocal 
encouragement of international Communism, and where 
circumstances permit, expert advice and material assistance 
as well. 

As early as November, 1949, we had this assurance from 
China's Number Two Communist, Liu Shao-ch'i, when, 
speaking before the Australasian Trade Unions Conference 
in Peking, he prophesied that there would be other Asian 
revolutions that would follow the Chinese pattern. We 
paid no attention to this warning. 

In December, 1960, delegates of eighty-one Communist 
and Workers' Parties resolved that the tempo of "wars 
of liberation" should be stepped up. A month later (Janu- 
ary 6, 1961), the Soviet Premier, an unimpeachable au- 
thority on "national liberation wars," propounded an inter- 
esting series of questions to which he provided equally 
interesting answers: 



Introduction 

Is there a likelihood of such wars recurring? Yes, there is. 
Are uprisings of this kind likely to recur? Yes, they are. 
But wars of this kind are popular uprisings. Is there the 
likelihood of conditions in other countries reaching the 
point where the cup of the popular patience overflows and 
they take to arms? Yes, there is such a likelihood. What is 
the attitude of the Marxists to such uprisings? A most 
favorable attitude. . . . These uprisings are directed against 
the corrupt reactionary regimes, against the colonialists. 
The Communists support just wars of this kind whole- 
heartedly and without reservations.* 

Implicit is the further assurance that any popular move- 
ment infiltrated and captured by the Communists will 
develop an anti-Western character definitely tinged, in our 
own hemisphere at least, with a distinctive anti-American 
coloration. 

This should not surprise us if we remember that several 
hundred millions less fortunate than we have arrived, per- 
haps reluctantly, at the conclusion that the Western peo- 
ples are dedicated to the perpetuation of the political, social, 
and economic status quo. In the not too distant past, many 
of these millions looked hopefully to America, Britain, or 
France for help in the realization of their justifiable aspira- 
tions. But today many of them feel that these aims can be 
achieved only by a desperate revolutionary struggle that 
we will probably oppose. This is not a hypothesis; it is fact. 

A potential revolutionary situation exists in any country 
where the government consistently fails in its obligation to 
ensure at least a minimally decent standard of life for the 

* World Marxist Review, January, 1961. 



Mao Tse-'tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

great majority of its citizens. If there also exists even the 
nucleus of a revolutionary party able to supply doctrine and 
organization, only one ingredient is needed: the instrument 
for violent revolutionary action. 

In many countries, there are but two classes, the rich 
and the miserably poor. In these countries, the relatively 
small middle class— merchants, bankers, doctors, lawyers, 
engineers— lacks forceful leadership, is fragmented by un- 
ceasing factional quarrels, and is politically ineffective. Its 
program, which usually posits a socialized society and some 
form of liberal parliamentary democracy, is anathema to 
the exclusive and tightly knit possessing minority. It is also 
rejected by the frustrated intellectual youth, who move 
irrevocably toward violent revolution. To the illiterate and 
destitute, it represents a package of promises that experi- 
ence tells them will never be fulfilled. 

People who live at subsistence level want first things to 
be put first. They are not particularly interested in freedom 
of religion, freedom of the press, free enterprise as we 
understand it, or the secret ballot. Their needs are more 
basic: land, tools, fertilizers, something better than rags 
for their children, houses to replace their shacks, freedom 
from police oppression, medical attention, primary schools. 
Those who have known only poverty have begun to wonder 
why they should continue to wait passively for improve- 
ments. They see— and not always through Red-tinted 
glasses— examples of peoples who have changed the struc- 
ture of their societies, and they ask, "What have we to 
lose?" When a great many people begin to ask themselves 
this question, a revolutionary guerrilla situation is incipient. 



Introduction 

A revolutionary war is never confined within the bounds 
of military action. Because its purpose is to destroy an 
existing society and its institutions and to replace diem 
with a completely new state structure, any revolutionary 
war is a unity of which the constituent parts, in varying 
importance, are military, political, economic, social, and 
psychological. For this reason, it is endowed with a dy- 
namic quality and a dimension in depth that orthodox 
wars, whatever their scale, lack. This is particularly true of 
revolutionary guerrilla war, which is not susceptible to the 
type of superficial military treatment frequently advocated 
by antediluvian doctrinaires. 

It is often said that guerrilla warfare is primitive. This 
generalization is dangerously misleading and true only in 
the technological sense. If one considers the picture as a 
whole, a paradox is immediately apparent, and the primitive 
form is understood to be in fact more sophisticated than 
nuclear war or atomic war or war as it was waged by con- 
ventional armies, navies, and air forces. Guerrilla war is 
not dependent for success on the efficient operation of 
complex mechanical devices, highly organized logistical 
systems, or the accuracy of electronic computers. It can be 
conducted in any terrain, in any climate, in any weather; 
in swamps, in mountains, in farmed fields. Its basic element 
is man, and man is more complex than any of his machines. 
He is endowed with intelligence, emotions, and will. 
Guerrilla warfare is therefore suffused with, and reflects, 
man's admirable qualities as well as his less pleasant ones. 
While it is not always humane, it is human, which is more 
than can be said for the strategy of extinction. 



Mao Tse4ung on Guerrilla Warfare 

In the United States, we go to considerable trouble to 
keep soldiers out of politics, and even more to keep politics 
out of soldiers. Guerrillas do exactly the opposite. They 
go to great lengths to make sure that their men are politi- 
cally educated and thoroughly aware of the issues at stake. 
A trained and disciplined guerrilla is much more than a 
patriotic peasant, workman, or student armed with an 
antiquated fowling-piece and a home-made bomb. His 
indoctrination begins even before he is taught to shoot 
accurately, and it is unceasing. The end product is an 
intensely loyal and politically alert fighting man. 

Guerrilla leaders spend a great deal more time in or- 
ganization, instruction, agitation, and propaganda work 
than they do fighting, for their most important job is to 
win over the people. "We must patiently explain," says 
Mao Tse-tung. "Explain," "persuade," "discuss," "con- 
vince"— these words recur with monotonous regularity in 
many of the early Chinese essays on guerrilla war. Mao 
has aptly compared guerrillas to fish, and the people to the 
water in which they swim. If the political temperature is 
right, the fish, however few in number, will thrive and 
proliferate. It is therefore the principal concern of all 
guerrilla leaders to get the water to the right temperature 
and to keep it there. 

More than ten years ago, I concluded an analysis of 
guerrilla warfare with the suggestion that the problem 
urgently demanded further "serious study of all historical 
experience." Although a wealth of material existed then, 
and much more has since been developed, no such study 



Introduction 

has yet been undertaken in this country, so far as I am 
aware. In Indochina and Cuba, Ho Chi Minh and Ernesto 
(Che) Guevara were more assiduous. One rather interest- 
ing result of their successful activities has been the com- 
mon identification of guerrilla warfare with Communism. 
But guerrilla warfare was not invented by the Communists; 
for centuries, there have been guerrilla fighters. 

One of the most accomplished of them all was our own 
Revolutionary hero Francis Marion, "the Swamp Fox." 
Those present at his birth would probably not have foretold 
a martial future for him; the baby was "not larger than a 
New England lobster and might easily enough have been 
put into a quart pot." Marion grew up in South Carolina 
and had little formal schooling. He worked as a farmer. 
In 1759, at the age of twenty-seven, he joined a regiment 
raised to fight the Cherokees, who were then ravaging the 
borders of the Carolinas. He served for two years and in 
the course of these hostilities stored away in his mind 
much that was later to be put to good use against the 
British. 

When the Revolution broke out, Marion immediately 
accepted a commission in the Second South Carolina 
Regiment. By 1780, he had seen enough of the war to 
realize that the Continentals were overlooking a very profit- 
able field— that of partisan warfare. Accordingly, he sought 
and obtained permission to organize a company that at first 
consisted of twenty ill-equipped men and boys (Castro's 
"base" was twelve men). The appearance of this group, 
with a heterogeneous assortment of arms and ragged and 
poorly fitting clothes, provoked considerable jesting among 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

the regulars of General Gates, but Marion's men were 
not long in proving that the appearance of a combat soldier 
is not necessarily a reliable criterion of his fighting abilities. 

Marion's guerrilla activities in South Carolina soon told 
heavily on the British, especially Cornwallis, whose plans 
were continually disrupted by them. Marion's tactics were 
those of all successful guerrillas. Operating with the great- 
est speed from inaccessible bases, which he changed fre- 
quendy, he struck his blows in rapid succession at isolated 
garrisons, convoys, and trains. His information was always 
timely and accurate, for the people supported him. 

The British, unable to cope with Marion, branded him 
a criminal, and complained bitterly that he fought neither 
"like a gentleman" nor like "a Christian," a charge orthodox 
soldiers are wont to apply in all lands and in all wars to 
such ubiquitous, intangible, and deadly antagonists as 
Francis Marion.* 

However, the first example of guerrilla operations on a 
grand scale was in Spain between 1808 and 1813. The 
Spaniards who fled from Napoleon's invading army to the 

* Bryant, in the "Song of Marion's Men," wrote some lines that 
showed that he had a better understanding of guerrilla tactics and psy- 
chology than many who have followed more martial pursuits: 

Woe to the English soldiery, 

That little dreads us near! 

On them shall come at midnight 

A strange and sudden fear; 

When, waking to their tents on fire, 

They grasp their arms in vain, 

And they who stand to face us 

Are beat to earth again; 

And they who fly in terror deem 

A mighty host behind, 

And hear the tramp of thousands 

Upon {he hollow wind. 



10 



Introduction 

mountains were patriots loyal to the ruler whose crown 
had been taken from him by the Emperor of the French. 
They were not revolutionists. Most did not desire a change 
in the form of their government. Their single objective 
was to help Wellington force the French armies to leave 
Spain. 

A few years later, thousands of Russian Cossacks and 
peasants harried Napoleon's Grande Armee as Kutuzov 
pushed it, stumbling, starving and freezing, down the ice- 
covered road to Smolensk. This dying army felt again and 
again the cudgel of the people's war, which, as Tolstoi 
later wrote, "was raised in all its menacing and majestic 
power; and troubling itself about no question of anyone's 
tastes or rules, about no fine distinctions, with stupid 
simplicity, with perfect consistency, it rose and fell and 
belabored the French until the whole, invading army had 
been driven out." 

A little more than a century and a quarter later, Hitler's 
armies fell back along the Smolensk road. They too would 
feel the fury of an aroused people. But in neither case 
were those who wielded the cudgel revolutionists. They 
were patriotic Russians. 

Only when Lenin came on the scene did guerrilla war- 
fare receive the potent political injection that was to alter 
its character radically. But it remained for Mao Tse-rung 
to produce the first systematic study of the subject, almost 
twenty-five years ago. His study, now endowed with the 
authority that deservedly accrues to the works of the man 
who led the most radical revolution in history, will continue 
to have a decisive effect in societies ready for change. 



ii 



II 

PROFILE OF A REVOLUTIONIST 



Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun. 
—Mao Tse-tung, 1938 



Mao tse-tung, the man who was to don the 
mantle of Lenin, was born in Hunan 
Province, in central China, in 1893. His father, an in- 
dustrious farmer, had managed to acquire several acres, and 
with this land, the status of a "middle" peasant. He was a 
strict disciplinarian, and Mao's youth was not a happy one. 
The boy was in constant conflict with his father but found 
an ally in his mother, whose "indirect tactics" (as he once 
described her methods of coping with her husband) ap- 
pealed to him. But the father gave his rebellious son 
educational opportunities that only a tiny minority of 
Chinese were then able to enjoy. Mao's primary and 
secondary schooling was thorough. His literary taste was 
catholic; while a pupil at the provincial normal school he 
read omnivorously. His indiscriminate diet included Chi- 
nese philosophy, poetry, history, and romances as well as 
translations of many Western historians, novelists, and 
biographers. However, history and political sciences par- 



12 



Introduction 

ticularly appealed to him; in them, he sought, but without 
success, the key to the future of China. 

His studies had led him to reject both democratic liberal- 
ism and parliamentary socialism as unsuited to his country. 
Time, he realized, was running out for China. History 
would not accord her the privilege of gradual political, 
social, and economic change, of a relatively painless and 
orderly evolution. To survive in the power jungle, China 
had to change, to change radically, to change fast. But 
how? 

Shortly after graduating from normal school, in 1917, 
Mao accepted a position as assistant in the Peking Univer- 
sity library. Here he associated himself with the Marxist 
study groups set up by Li Ta-chao and Ch'en Tu-hsiu; 
here he discovered Lenin, read his essays, pored over Trot- 
sky's explosive speeches, and began to study Marx and 
Engels. By 1920, Mao was a convinced Communist and 
a man who had discovered his mission: to create a new 
China according to the doctrine of Marx and Lenin. When 
the CCP was organized in Shanghai, in 1921, Mao joined. 

The China Mao decided to change was not a nation 
in the accepted sense of the word. Culturally, China was, 
of course, homogeneous; politically and economically, China 
was chaos. The peasants, 400 million of them, lived from 
day to day at subsistence level. Tens of millions of peasant 
families owned no land at all. Other millions cultivated tiny 
holdings from which they scraped out just enough food to 
sustain life. 

The peasant was fair game for everyone. He was pil- 
laged by tax collectors, robbed by landlords and usurers, 



*3 



Mao Tse-twng on Guerrilla Warfare 

at the mercy of rapacious soldiery and bandits, afflicted by 
blights, droughts, floods, and epidemics. His single stark 
problem was simply to survive. The tough ones did. The 
others slowly starved, died of disease, and in the fierce 
winters of North China and Manchuria, froze to death. 

It is difficult for an American today to conceive tens of 
thousands of small communities in which no public services 
existed, in which there were no doctors, no schools, no 
running water, no electricity, no paved streets, and no 
sewage disposal. The inhabitants of these communities 
were with few exceptions illiterate; they lived in constant 
fear of army press gangs and of provincial officials who 
called them out summer and winter alike to work on mili- 
tary roads and dikes. The Chinese peasant, in his own 
expressive idiom, "ate bitterness" from the time he could 
walk until he was laid to rest in the burial plot beneath 
the cypress trees. This was feudal China. Dormant within 
this society were the ingredients that were soon to blow it 
to pieces. 

An external factor had for almost a century contributed 
to the chaos of China: the unrelenting pressure and greed 
of foreign powers. French, British, Germans, and Russians 
vied with one another in exacting from a succession of 
corrupt and feeble governments commercial, juridical, and 
financial concessions that had, in fact, turned China into 
an international colony. (The American record in these 
respects was a reasonably good one.) Mao once described 
the China he knew in his youth as "semicolonial and 
feudal." He was right. 



14 



Introduction 

Shortly after Chiang Kai-shek took command of the 
National Revolutionary Army, in 1926, Mao went to 
Hunan to stir up the peasants. The campaign he waged 
for land reform in his native province can be described 
as almost a one-man show. The fundamental requisite in 
China was then, as it had long been, to solve the land 
question. Reduced to elementary terms, the problem was 
how to get rid of the gentry landowners who fastened 
themselves to the peasants like leeches and whose exactions 
kept the people constantly impoverished. In the circum- 
stances, there was only one way to accomplish this neces- 
sary reform: expropriation and redistribution of the land. 
Naturally, the Nationalists, eager to retain the support 
of the gentry (historically the stabilizing element in Chi- 
nese society), considered such a radical solution social 
dynamite. But in Mao's view, there could be no meaningful 
revolution unless and until the power of this class had 
been completely eliminated. 

While Mao was making himself extremely unpopular 
with the landed gentry in Hunan, the revolutionary armies 
of the Kuomintang were marching north from Canton to 
Wuhan, on the Yangtze, where a Nationalist Government 
was established in December, 1926. These armies incorpo- 
rated a number of Communist elements. But by the time 
the vanguard divisions of Chiang's army reached the out- 
skirts of Shanghai, in March, 1927, the honeymoon was 
almost over. In April, Chiang's secret police captured and 
executed the radical labor leaders in Shanghai and began 
to purge the army of its Communist elements. In the 



»5 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

meantime the left-wing government in Wuhan had broken 
up. The Communists walked out; the Soviet advisers 
packed their bags and started for home. 

During this period, the Communists were having their 
own troubles, and these were serious. The movement was 
literally on the verge of extinction. Those who managed 
to escape Chiang's secret police had fled to the south and 
assembled at Ching Kang Shan, a rugged area in the 
Fukien-Kiangsi borderlands. One of the first to reach this 
haven was the agrarian agitator from Hunan. As various 
groups drifted in to the mountain stronghold, Mao and 
Chu Teh (who had arrived in April, 1928) began to mold 
an army. Several local bandit chieftains were induced to 
join the Communists, whose operations gradually became 
more extensive. Principally these activities were of a propa- 
ganda nature. District Soviets were established; landlords 
were dispossessed; wealthy merchants were "asked" to make 
patriotic contributions. Gradually, the territory under Red 
control expanded, and from a temporarily secure base area, 
operations commenced against provincial troops who were 
supposed to suppress the Reds. 

In the early summer of 1930, an ominous directive was 
received at Ching Kang Shan from the Central Committee 
of the Party, then dominated by Li Li-san. This directive 
required the Communist armies to take the offensive 
against cities held by the Nationalists. The campaigns that 
followed were not entirely successful and culminated in 
a serious Communist defeat at Changsha in September. On 
the thirteenth of that month, the single most vital decision 



Introduction 

in the history of the Chinese Communist Party was taken; 
the ultimate responsibility for it rested equally on the 
shoulders of Mao and Chu Teh. These two agreed that the 
only hope for the movement was to abandon immediately 
the line laid down by Moscow in favor of one of Mao's own 
devising. Basically the conflict that split the Chinese Com- 
munist Party wide open and alienated the traditionalists in 
Moscow revolved about this question: Was the Chinese 
revolution to be based on the industrial proletariat— as 
Marxist dogma prescribed— or was it to be based on the 
peasant? Mao, who knew and trusted the peasants, and had 
correctly gauged their revolutionary potential, was con- 
vinced that the Chinese urban proletariat were too few in 
number and too apathetic to make a revolution. This deci- 
sion, which drastically reoriented the policy of the Chinese 
Communist Party, was thereafter to be carried out with 
vigorous consistency. History has proved that Mao was 
right, Moscow wrong. And it is for this reason that the 
doctrine of Kremlin infallibility is so frequently challenged 
by Peking. 

In October, 1930, the Generalissimo, in the misguided 
belief that he could crush the Communists with no dif- 
ficulty, announced with great fanfare a "Bandit Suppres- 
sion Campaign." This was launched in December. How 
weak the Nationalists really were was now to become 
apparent. The campaign was a complete flop. Government 
troops ran away or surrendered to the Communists by 
platoons, by companies, by battalions. Three more Sup- 
pression Campaigns, all failures, followed this fiasco. Fi- 



»7 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

nally, in 1933, the Generalissimo reluctantly decided to 
adopt the plans of his German advisers and to commit 
well-equipped, well-trained, and loyal "Central" divisions 
to a coordinated and methodical compression of the Com- 
munist-controlled area. As the Nationalists inched south- 
ward, supported by artillery and aviation, they evacuated 
peasants from every village and town and constructed 
hundreds of mutually supporting wired-in blockhouses. 
The Communists, isolated from the support of the peasants 
they had laboriously converted, found themselves for the 
first time almost completely deprived of food and informa- 
tion. Chiang's troops were slowly strangling the Commu- 
nists. For the first time, Communist morale sagged. It was 
in this context that the bold decision to shift the base to 
Shensi Province was taken, and the now celebrated march 
of almost 6,000 miles was begun. 

This was indeed one of the fateful migrations of history: 
its purpose, to preserve the military power of the Commu- 
nist Party. How many pitched battles and skirmishes the 
Reds fought during this epic trek cannot now be estab- 
lished. It is known, however, that for days on end their 
columns were under air attack. They crossed innumerable 
mountains and rivers and endured both tropical and sub- 
arctic climates. As they marched toward the borders of 
Tibet and swung north, they sprinkled the route with 
cadres and caches of arms and ammunition. 

The Reds faced many critical situations, but they were 
tough and determined. Every natural obstacle, and there 
were many, was overcome. Chiang's provincial troops, in- 
effective as usual, were unable to bar the way, and the 

18 



Introduction 

exhausted remnants of the Reds eventually found shelter 
in the loess caves of Pao An. 

Later, after the base was shifted to Yenan, Mao had time 
to reflect on his experiences and to derive from them the 
theory and doctrine of revolutionary guerrilla war which he 
embodied in Yu Chi Chan. 



*9 



Ill 

STRATEGY, TACTICS, 
AND LOGISTICS IN 
REVOLUTIONARY WAR 



The first law of war is to preserve ourselves and 
destroy the enemy. 

—Mao Tse-tung, 1937 



MAO HAS never claimed that guerrilla action 
alone is decisive in a struggle for political 
control of the state, but only that it is a possible, natural, 
and necessary development in an agrarian-based revolu- 
tionary war. 

Mao conceived this type of war as passing through a 
series of merging phases, the first of which is devoted to 
organization, consolidation, and preservation of regional 
base areas situated in isolated and difficult terrain. Here 
volunteers are trained and indoctrinated, and from here, 
agitators and propagandists set forth, individually or in 
groups of two or three, to "persuade" and "convince" 
the inhabitants of the surrounding countryside and to en- 
list their support. In effect, there is thus woven about each 
base a protective belt of sympathizers willing to supply 



20 



Introduction 

food, recruits, and information. The pattern of the process 
is conspiratorial, clandestine, methodical, and progressive. 
Military operations will be sporadic. 

In the next phase, direct action assumes an ever-increas- 
ing importance. Acts of sabotage and terrorism multiply; 
collaborationists and "reactionary elements" are liquidated. 
Attacks are made on vulnerable military and police out- 
posts; weak columns are ambushed. The primary purpose 
of these operations is to procure arms, ammunition, and 
other essential material, particularly medical supplies and 
radios. As the growing guerrilla force becomes better 
equipped and its capabilities improve, political agents pro- 
ceed with indoctrination of the inhabitants of peripheral 
districts soon to be absorbed into the expanding "liberated" 
area. 

One of the primary objectives during the first phases is 
to persuade as many people as possible to commit them- 
selves to the movement, so that it gradually acquires the 
quality of "mass." Local "home guards" or militia are formed. 
The militia is not primarily designed to be a mobile fight- 
ing force; it is a "back-up" for the better-trained and better- 
equipped guerrillas. The home guards form an indoctri- 
nated and partially trained reserve. They function as vigi- 
lantes. They collect information, force merchants to make 
"voluntary" contributions, kidnap particularly obnoxious 
local landlords, and liquidate informers and collaborators. 
Their function is to protect the revolution. 

Following Phase I (organization, consolidation, and 
preservation) and Phase II (progressive expansion) comes 
Phase III: decision, or destruction of the enemy. It is dur- 



21 



Mao Tse-frung on Guerrilla Warfare 

ing this period that a significant percentage of the active 
guerrilla force completes its transformation into an orthodox 
establishment capable of engaging the enemy in conven- 
tional battle. This phase may be protracted by "negotiations." 
Such negotiations are not originated by revolutionists for 
the purpose of arriving at amicable arrangements with the 
opposition. Revolutions rarely compromise; compromises 
are made only to further the strategic design. Negotiation, 
then, is undertaken for the dual purpose of gaining time 
to buttress a position (military, political, social, economic) 
and to wear down, frustrate, and harass the opponent. Few, 
if any, essential concessions are to be expected from the 
revolutionary side, whose aim is only to create conditions 
that will preserve the unity of the strategic line and guar- 
antee the development of a "victorious situation." 

Intelligence is the decisive factor in planning guerrilla 
operations. Where is the enemy? In what strength? What 
does he propose to do? What is the state of his equipment, 
his supply, his morale? Are his leaders intelligent, bold, 
and imaginative or stupid and impetuous? Are his troops 
tough, efficient, and well disciplined, or poorly trained and 
soft? Guerrillas expect the members of their intelligence 
service to provide the answers to these and dozens more 
detailed questions. 

Guerrilla intelligence nets are tightly organized and 
pervasive. In a guerrilla area, every person without excep- 
tion must be considered an agent— old men and women, 
boys driving ox carts, girls tending goats, farm laborers, 
storekeepers, schoolteachers, priests, boatmen, scavengers. 



22 



Introduction 

The local cadres "put the heat" on everyone, without re- 
gard to age or sex, to produce all conceivable information. 
And produce it they do. 

As a corollary, guerrillas deny all information of them- 
selves to their enemy, who is enveloped in an impenetrable 
fog. Total inability to get information was a constant com- 
plaint of the Nationalists during the first four Suppression 
Campaigns, as it was later of the Japanese in China and 
of the French in both Indochina and Algeria. This is a 
characteristic feature of all guerrilla wars. The enemy 
stands as on a lighted stage; from the darkness around him, 
thousands of unseen eyes intently study his every move, 
his every gesture. When he strikes out, he hits the air; 
his antagonists are insubstantial, as intangible as fleeting 
shadows in the moonlight. 

Because of superior information, guerrillas always en- 
gage under conditions of their own choosing; because of 
superior knowledge of terrain, they are able to use it to 
their advantage and the enemy's discomfiture. Guerrillas 
fight only when the chances of victory are weighted heav- 
ily in their favor; if the tide of battle unexpectedly flows 
against them, they withdraw. They rely on imaginative 
leadership, distraction, surprise, and mobility to create a 
victorious situation before battle is joined. The enemy 
is deceived and again deceived. Attacks are sudden, sharp, 
vicious, and of short duration. Many are harassing in 
nature; others designed to dislocate the enemy's plans and 
to agitate and confuse his commanders. The mind of the 
enemy and the will of his leaders is a target of far more 
importance than the bodies of his troops. Mao once re- 



23 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

marked, not entirely facetiously, that guerrillas must be 
expert at running away since they do it so often. They 
avoid static dispositions; their effort is always to keep the 
situation as fluid as possible, to strike where and when the 
enemy least expects them. Only in this way can they re- 
tain the initiative and so be assured of freedom of action. 
Usually designed to lure the enemy into a baited trap, to 
confuse his leadership, or to distract his attention from an 
area in which a more decisive blow is imminent, "running 
away" is thus, paradoxically, offensive. 

Guerrilla operations conducted over a wide region are 
necessarily decentralized. Each regional commander must 
be familiar with local conditions and take advantage of 
local opportunities. The same applies to commands in 
subordinate districts. This decentralization is to some ex- 
tent forced upon guerrillas because they ordinarily lack a 
well-developed system of technical communications. But 
at the same time, decentralization for normal operations has 
many advantages, particularly if local leaders are ingenious 
and bold. 

The enemy's rear is the guerrillas' front; they themselves 
have no rear. Their logistical problems are solved in a 
direct and elementary fashion: The enemy is the principal 
source of weapons, equipment, and ammunition. 

Mao once said: 

We have a claim on the output of the arsenals of London 
as well as of Hanyang, and what is more, it is to be deliv- 
ered to us by the enemy's own transport corps. This is the 
sober truth, not a joke. 



24 



Introduction 

If it is a joke, it is a macabre one as far as American tax- 
payers are concerned. Defectors to the Communists from 
Chiang Kai-shek's American-equipped divisions were num- 
bered in the tens of thousands. When they surrendered, 
they turned in mountains of American f made individual 
arms, jeeps, tanks, guns, bazookas, mortars, radios, and 
automatic weapons. 

It is interesting to examine Mao's strategical and tactical 
theories in the light of his principle of "unity of opposites." 
This seems to be an adaptation to military action of the 
ancient Chinese philosophical concept of Yin-Yang. 
Briefly, the Yin and the Yang are elemental and pervasive. 
Of opposite polarities, they represent female and male, 
dark and light, cold and heat, recession and aggression. 
Their reciprocal interaction is endless. In terms of the 
dialectic, they may be likened to the thesis and antithesis 
from which the synthesis is derived. 

An important postulate of the Yin-Yang theory is that 
concealed within strength there is weakness, and within 
weakness, strength. It is a weakness of guerrillas that they 
operate in small groups that can be wiped out in a matter 
of minutes. But because they do operate in small groups, 
they can move rapidly and secretly into the vulnerable rear 
of the enemy. 

In conventional tactics, dispersion of forces invites de- 
struction; in guerrilla war, this very tactic is desirable both 
to confuse the enemy and to preserve the illusion that the 
guerrillas are ubiquitous. 

It is often a disadvantage not to have heavy infantry 



25 



Mao Tse^twng on Guerrilla Warfare 

weapons available, but the very fact of having to transport 
them has until recently tied conventional columns to 
roads and well-used tracks. The guerrilla travels light and 
travels fast. He turns the hazards of terrain to his advantage 
and makes an ally of tropical rains, heavy snow, intense 
heat, and freezing cold. Long night marches are difficult 
and dangerous, but the darkness shields his approach to 
an unsuspecting enemy. 

In every apparent disadvantage, some advantage is to be 
found. The converse is equally true: In each apparent 
advantage lie the seeds of disadvantage. The Yin is not 
wholly Yin, nor the Yang wholly Yang. It is only the wise 
general, said the ancient Chinese military philosopher Sun 
Tzu, who is able to recognize this fact and to turn it to 
good account. 

Guerrilla tactical doctrine may be summarized in four 
Chinese characters pronounced "Sheng Tung, Chi Hsi," 
which mean "Uproar [in the] East; Strike [in the] West." 
Here we find expressed the all-important principles of dis- 
traction on the one hand and concentration on the other; to 
fix the enemy's attention and to strike where and when he 
least anticipates the blow. 

Guerrillas are masters of the arts of simulation and dis- 
simulation; they create pretenses and simultaneously dis- 
guise or conceal their true semblance. Their tactical con- 
cepts, dynamic and flexible, are not cut to any particular 
pattern. But Mao's first law of war, to preserve oneself and 
destroy the enemy, is always governing. 



26 



IV 



SOME CONCLUSIONS 



Historical experience is written in blood and iron. 
—Mao Tse-tung, 1937 



THE fundamental difference between patriotic 
partisan resistance and revolutionary guerrilla 
movements is that the first usually lacks the ideological 
content that always distinguishes the second. 

A resistance is characterized by the quality of spon- 
taneity; it begins and then is organized. A revolutionary 
guerrilla movement is organized and then begins. 

A resistance is rarely liquidated and terminates when 
the invader is ejected; a revolutionary movement terminates 
only when it has succeeded in displacing the incumbent 
government or is liquidated. 

Historical experience suggests that there is very little 
hope of destroying a revolutionary guerrilla movement 
after it has survived the first -phase and has acquired the 
sympathetic support of a significant segment of the popu- 
lation. The size of this "significant segment" will vary; a 
decisive figure might range from 15 to 25 per cent. 

In addition to an appealing program and popular sup- 
port, such factors as terrain; communications; the quality 



*7 



Mao Tse-iung on Guerrilla Warfare 

of the opposing leadership; the presence or absence of 
material help, technical aid, advisers, or "volunteers" from 
outside sources; the availability of a sanctuary; the relative 
military efficiency and the political flexibility of the incum- 
bent government are naturally relevant to the ability of a 
movement to survive and expand. 

In specific aspects, revolutionary guerrilla situations will 
of course differ, but if the Castro movement, for example, 
had been objectively analyzed in the light of the factors 
suggested during the latter period of its first phase, a rough 
"expectation of survival and growth" might have looked 
something like Figure I. 

Had an impartial analyst applied such criteria to Vietnam 
six to eight months before the final debacle, he might have 
produced a chart somewhat like Figure II. 

Here Determinants A, B, H, and I definitely favored the 
guerrillas, who also (unlike Castro) had an available sanc- 
tuary. Two others, C and F, might have been considered 
in balance. Although the Vietminh had demonstrated 
superior tactical ability in guerrilla situations, an experi- 
enced observer might have been justified in considering 
"military efficiency" equal; the French were learning. 

While other determinants may no doubt be adduced, 
those used are, I believe, valid so far as they go, and the 
box scores indicative. These show that Castro's chances of 
success might have been estimated as approximately three 
to two, Ho Chi Minh's as approximately four to three. 

These analyses may be criticized as having been formu- 
lated after the event; it is, however, my belief that the 
outcome in Cuba and Indochina could have been pre- 

28 



Figure I. The Revolutionary Guerrilla Situation in Cuba 





Determinants* 


Castro 


Incuinbent 

(Batista) 


A. 


Appeal of program 


Progressive, plus 
(8) 


Static, minus (3) 


B. 


Popular support 


Growing, active 
(7) 


Diminishing, pas- 
sive (3) 


C. 


Quality of leadership 


Excellent, dedicated 
C8) 


Mediocre to poor 
(4) 


D. 


Quality of troops 


Good, improving to 
excellent (8) 


Good, decreasing to 
fair (5) 


E. 


Military efficiency 


Growing (6) 


Mediocre to poor 
(4) 


F. 


Internal unity 


Positive, strong (8) 


Weak (3) 


G 


Equipment 


Poor, improving to 
good as taken (4) 


Largely U.S., excel- 
lent (8) 


H. 


Base area terrain 


Operationally favor- 
able (10) 


Unfavorable (3) 


I. 


Base area communica- 
tions 


Operationally favor- 
able (10) 


Unfavorable (3) 


J- 


Sanctuary 


None (0) 


Remainder of island 
(10) 



Remarks 

Batista government oppres- 
sive and reactionary 



In guerrilla situations 



Radios, transport, medical 
supplies, etc., available 
from incumbent 



Available for rest, retrain- 
ing, equipment 



AGGREGATE 69 

* Determinants are arbitrarily weighted on a scale of 



46 



0-10. 



Figure II. The Revolutionary Guerrilla Situation in Vietnam 



Determinants* 

A. Appeal of program 

B. Popular support 

C. Quality of leadership 

D. Quality of troops 

E. Military efficiency 

F. Internal unity 

G. Equipment 

H. Operational terrain 

I. Operational area 

communica tioas 

J. Sanctuary 



Ho Chi Mirth 

Dynamic (7) 
Growing (7) 

GoodC7) 

Good, improving 
(6) 

Very good (8) 

Excellent (8) 

Fair but improving 
C7) 

Favorable ClO) 

Favorable CIO) 

Available in China 
(8) 



Incumbent 
(French) 

No program CO) 

Diminishing, slight 

C3) 
Good (7) 
Very good (7) 

Good (6) 

Excellent C8) 

Generally well 
equipped (9) 

Unfavorable C5) 

Unfavorable C5) 

Remainder of 
Indochina ( 10) 



Remarks 



In guerrilla situations 



Received from China and 
taken from French 



AGGREGATE 78 60 

• Determinants ate arbitrarily weighted on a scale of 0-10. 



Introduction 

dieted some time before the respective movements had 
emerged from the stage of organization and consolidation- 
Phase I. 

At the present time, much attention is being devoted to 
the development of "gadgetry." A good example of this 
restricted approach to the problem was reported in News- 
week:"' 

PENTAGON — A new and fiendishly ingenious anti- 
guerrilla weapon is being tested by the Navy. It's a delayed- 
action liquid explosive, squirted from a flame-thrower-like 
gun, that seeps into Foxholes and bunkers. Seconds later, 
fed by oxygen From the air, it blows up with terrific force. 

Apparently we are to assume that guerrillas will con- 
veniendy ensconce themselves in readily identifiable "fox- 
holes and bunkers" awaiting the arrival of half a dozen 
admirals armed with "flame-thrower-like guns" to march 
up, squirt, and retire to the nearest officers' club. To any- 
one even remotely acquainted with the philosophy and 
doctrine of revolutionary guerrilla war, this sort of thing is 
not hilariously funny. There are no mechanical panaceas, 
I do not mean to suggest that proper weapons and equip- 
ment will not play an important part in antiguerrilla opera- 
tions, for of course they will. Constant efforts should be 
made to improve communication, food, medical, and sur- 
gical "packs." Weapons and ammunition must be drasti- 
cally reduced in weight; there seems to be no technical 
reason why a sturdy, light, accurate automatic rifle weigh- 

* July 3, 1961, "The Periscope." 

3 1 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

ing a maximum of four to five pounds cannot be developed. 
And the search for new and effective weapons must con- 
tinue. But we must realize that "flame-thrower-like guns" 
and bullets are only a very small part of the answer to a 
challenging and complex problem. 

The position of active third parties in a revolutionary 
guerrilla war and die timing, nature, and scope of the 
assistance given to one side or the other has become of 
great importance. Basically, this is a political matter; re- 
sponsibility for a decision to intervene would naturally 
devolve upon the head of state. Any assistance given should, 
however, stop short of participation in combat. The role 
of a third party should be restricted to advice, materials, 
and technical training. 

The timing of aid is often critical. If extended to the 
incumbent government, aid must be given while it is still 
possible to isolate and eradicate the movement; if to the 
revolutionary side, aid must be made available during the 
same critical period, that is, when the movement is vulner- 
able and its existence quite literally a matter of life and 
death. 

From a purely military point of view, antiguerrilla opera- 
tions may be summed up in three words: location, isolation, 
and eradication. In the brief definitions of each term, it 
will be well to bear in mind that these activities are not 
rigidly compartmented. 

Location of base area or areas requires careful terrain 
studies, photographic and physical reconnaissance, and pos- 
sibly infiltration of the movement. Isolation involves sepa- 

3* 



Introduction 

ration of guerrillas from their sources of information and 
food. It may require movement and resettlement of entire 
communities. Eradication presupposes reliable information 
and demands extreme operational flexibility and a high 
degree of mobility. Parachutists and helicopter-borne com- 
mando-type troops are essential. 

The tactics of guerrillas must be used against the guer- 
rillas themselves. They must be constantly harried and con- 
stantly attacked. Every effort must be made to induce 
defections and take prisoners. The best source of informa- 
tion of the enemy is men who know the enemy situation. 

Imaginative, intelligent, and bold leadership is abso- 
lutely essential. Commanders and leaders at every echelon 
must be selected with these specific qualities in mind. 
Officers and NCO's who are more than competent under 
normal conditions will frequently be hopelessly ineffective 
when confronted with the dynamic and totally different 
situations characteristic of guerrilla warfare. 

Finally, there is the question of whether it is possible 
to create effective counterguerrilla forces. Can two shoals 
of fish, each intent on destruction of the other, flourish 
in the same medium? Mao is definite on this point; he is 
convinced they cannot, that "counterrevolutionary guer- 
rilla war" is impossible. If the guerrilla experiences of the 
White Russians (which he cites) or of Mikhailovitch are 
valid criteria, he is correct. But, on the other hand, the 
history of the movement in Greece during the German 
occupation indicates that under certain circumstances, his 
thesis will not stanjj too close an examination. This sug- 



33 



Mao Tse^tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

gests the need for a careful analysis of relevant political 
factors in each individual situation. 

Mao Tse-tung contends that the phenomena we have 
considered are subject to their own peculiar laws, and are 
predictable. If he is correct (and I believe he is), it is 
possible to prevent such phenomena from appearing, or, if 
they do, to control and eradicate them. And if historical 
experience teaches us anything about revolutionary guer- 
rilla war, it is that military measures alone will not suffice. 



34 



YU CHI CHAN 
(Guerrilla Warfare) 



TRANSLATOR'S NOTE 



In july, 1941, the undeclared war between China 
and Japan will enter its fifth year. One of the 
most significant features of the struggle has been the or- 
ganization of the Chinese people for unlimited guerrilla 
warfare. The development of this warfare has followed the 
pattern laid out by Mao Tse-tung and his collaborators in 
the pamphlet Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare'), which 
was published in 1937 and has been widely distributed in 
"Free China" at 10 cents a copy. 

Mao Tse-tung, a member of the Chinese Communist 
Party and formerly political commissar of the Fourth Red 
Army, is no novice in the art of war. Actual battle experi- 
ence with both regular and guerrilla troops has qualified 
him as an expert. 

The influence of the ancient military philosopher Sun 
Tzu on Mao's military thought will be apparent to those 
who have read The Book of War. Sun Tzu wrote that 
speed, surprise, and deception were the primary essentials 
of the attack and his succinct advice, "Sheng Tung, Chi 
Hsi" ("Uproar [in the] East, Strike [in the] West"), is no 
less valid today than it was when he wrote it 2,400 years 
ago. The tactics of Sun Tzu are in large measure the tac- 
tics of China's guerrillas today. 



37 



Mao Tse-iung on Guerrilla Warfare 

Mao says that unlimited guerrilla warfare, with vast 
time and space factors, established a new military process. 
This seems a true statement since there are no other his- 
torical examples of guerrilla hostilities as thoroughly or- 
ganized from the military, political, and economic point 
of view as those in China. We in the Marine Corps have 
as yet encountered nothing but relatively primitive and 
strictly limited guerrilla war. Thus, what Mao has written 
of this new type of guerrilla war may be of interest to us. 

I have tried to present the author's ideas accurately, but 
as the Chinese language is not a particularly suitable me- 
dium for the expression of technical thought, the transla- 
tion of some of the modern idioms not yet to be found in 
available dictionaries is probably arguable. I cannot vouch 
for the accuracy of retranslated quotations. I have taken 
the liberty to delete from the translation matter that was 
purely repetitious. 

Samuel B. Griffith 
Captain, USMC 
Quantico, Virginia 
1940 



38 



A FURTHER NOTE 



The preceding note was written twenty-one 
years ago, but I see no need to amplify it. 

Yu Chi Chan (1937) is frequently confused with one 
of Mao's later (1938) essays entitled K'ang Jih Yu Chi 
Chan Cheng Ti Chan Lueh Wen T'i (.Strategic Problems 
in the Anti-Japanese Guerrilla War), which was issued 
in an English version in 1952 by the People's Publishing 
House, Peking. There are some similarities in these two 
works. 

I had hoped to locate a copy of Yu Chi Chan in the Chi- 
nese to check my translation but have been unable to do 
so. Some improvement is always possible in any rendering 
from the Chinese. I have not been able to identify with 
standard English titles all the works cited by Mao. 

Mao wrote Yu Chi Chan during China's struggle against 
Japan; consequently there are, naturally, numerous refer- 
ences to the strategy to be used against the Japanese. These 
in no way invalidate Mao's fundamental thesis. For in- 
stance, when Mao writes, "The moment that this war of 
resistance dissociates itself from the masses of the people 
is the precise moment that it dissociates itself from hope 
of ultimate victory over the Japanese," he might have 
added, "and from hope of ultimate victory over the forces 



39 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

of Chiang Kai-shek." However, he did not do so, because 
at that time both sides were attempting to preserve the 
illusion of a "united front." "Our basic policy," he said, 
"is the creation of a national united anti-Japanese front." 
This was, of course, not the basic policy of the Chinese 
Communist Party then, or at any other time. Its basic policy 
was to seize state power; the type of revolutionary guerrilla 
war described by Mao was the basic weapon in the pro- 
tracted and ultimately successful process of doing so. 

Samuel B. Griffith 

Brigadier General, USMC (Ret.) 

Mount Vernon, Maine 
July, 1961 



40 



1 

WHAT IS GUERRILLA WARFARE? 



IN A WAR OF REVOLUTIONARY CHARACTER, guerrilla 
operations are a necessary part. This is particu- 
larly true in a war waged for the emancipation of a people 
who inhabit a vast nation. China is such a nation, a nation 
whose techniques are undeveloped and whose communica- 
tions are poor. She finds herself confronted with a strong 
and victorious Japanese imperialism. Under these circum- 
stances, the development of the type of guerrilla warfare 
characterized by the quality of mass is both necessary and 
natural. This warfare must be developed to an unprece- 
dented degree and it must coordinate with the operations 
of our regular armies. If we fail to do this, we will find it 
difficult to defeat the enemy. 

These guerrilla operations must not be considered as an 
independent form of warfare. They are but one step in the 
total war, one aspect of the revolutionary struggle. They 
are the inevitable result of the clash between oppressor 
and oppressed when the latter reach the limits of their 
endurance. In our case, these hostilities began at a time 
when the people were unable to endure any more from the 
Japanese imperialists. Lenin, in People and Revolution, 
said: "A people's insurrection and a people's revolution 



4i 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

are not only natural but inevitable." We consider guerrilla 
operations as but one aspect of our total or mass war be- 
cause they, lacking the quality of independence, are of 
themselves incapable of providing a solution to the struggle. 

Guerrilla warfare has qualities and objectives peculiar to 
itself. It is a weapon that a nation inferior in arms and mili- 
tary equipment may employ against a more powerful ag- 
gressor nation. When the invader pierces deep into the 
heart of the weaker country and occupies her territory in 
a cruel and oppressive manner, there is no doubt that con- 
ditions of terrain, climate, and society in general offer 
obstacles to his progress and may be used to advantage by 
those who oppose him. In guerrilla warfare, we turn these 
advantages to the purpose of resisting and defeating the 
enemy. 

During the progress of hostilities, guerrillas gradually 
develop into orthodox forces that operate in conjunction 
with other units of the regular army. Thus the regularly 
organized troops, those guerrillas who have attained that 
status, and those who have not reached that level of de- 
velopment combine to form the military power of a national 
revolutionary war. There can be no doubt that the ultimate 
result of this will be victory. 

Both in its development and in its method of application, 
guerrilla warfare has certain distinctive characteristics. We 
first discuss the relationship of guerrilla warfare to national 
policy. Because ours is die resistance of a semicolonial 
country against an imperialism, our hostilities must have a 
clearly defined political goal and firmly established political 
responsibilities. Our basic policy is the creation of a national 



42 



Yu Chi Chan (Giierrilla Warfare) 

united anti-Japanese front. This policy we pursue in order 
to gain our political goal, which is the complete emancipa- 
tion of the Chinese people. There are certain fundamental 
steps necessary in the realization of this policy, to wit: 

1. Arousing and organizing the people. 

2. Achieving internal unification politically. 

3. Establishing bases. 

4. Equipping forces. 

5. Recovering national strength. 

6. Destroying enemy's national strength. 

7. Regaining lost territories. 

There is no reason to consider guerrilla warfare separately 
from national policy. On the contrary, it must be organized 
and conducted in complete accord with national anti- 
Japanese policy. It is only those who misinterpret guerrilla 
action who say, as does Jen Ch'i Shan, "The question of 
guerrilla hostilities is purely a military matter and not a 
political one." Those who maintain this simple point of 
view have lost sight of the political goal and the political 
effects of guerrilla action. Such a simple point of view will 
cause the people to lose confidence and will result in our 
defeat. 

What is the relationship of guerrilla warfare to the peo- 
ple? Without a political goal, guerrilla warfare must fail, 
as it must if its political objectives do not coincide with the 
aspirations of the people and their sympathy, cooperation, 
and assistance cannot be gained. The essence of guerrilla 
warfare is thus revolutionary in character. On the other 



43 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

hand, in a war of counterrevolutionary nature, there is no 
place for guerrilla hostilities. Because guerrilla warfare 
basically derives from the masses and is supported by them, 
it can neither exist nor flourish if it separates itself from 
their sympathies and cooperation. There are those who do 
not comprehend guerrilla action, and who therefore do 
not understand the distinguishing qualities of a people's 
guerrilla war, who say: "Only regular troops can carry 
on guerrilla operations." There are others who, because 
they do not believe in the ultimate success of guerrilla 
action, mistakenly say: "Guerrilla warfare is an insig- 
nificant and highly specialized type of operation in which 
there is no place for the masses of the people" (Jen Ch'i 
Shan). Then there are those who ridicule the masses and 
undermine resistance by wildly asserting that the people 
have no understanding of the war of resistance (Yeh 
Ch'ing, for one). The moment that this war of resistance 
dissociates itself from the masses of the people is the pre- 
cise moment that it dissociates itself from hope of ultimate 
victory over the Japanese. 

What is the organization for guerrilla warfare? Though 
all guerrilla bands that spring from the masses of the peo- 
ple suffer from lack of organization at the time of their 
formation, they all have in common a basic quality that 
makes organization possible. All guerrilla units must have 
political and military leadership. This is true regardless 
of the source or size of such units. Such units may originate 
locally, in the masses of the people; they may be formed 
from an admixture of regular troops with groups of the 
people, or they may consist of regular army units intact. 



44 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

And mere quantity does not affect this matter. Such units 
may consist of a squad of a few men, a battalion of several 
hundred men, or a regiment of several thousand men. 

All these must have leaders who are unyielding in their 
policies— resolute, loyal, sincere, and robust. These men 
must be well educated in revolutionary technique, self- 
confident, able to establish severe discipline, and able to 
cope with counterpropaganda. In short, these leaders must 
be models for the people. As the war progresses, such 
leaders will gradually overcome the lack of discipline, which 
at first prevails; they will establish discipline in their forces, 
strengthening them and increasing their combat efficiency. 
Thus eventual victory will be attained. 

Unorganized guerrilla warfare cannot contribute to vic- 
tory and those who attack the movement as a combination 
of banditry and anarchism do not understand the nature 
of guerrilla action. They say: "This movement is a haven 
for disappointed militarists, vagabonds and bandits" (Jen 
Ch'i Shan), hoping thus to bring the movement into dis- 
repute. We do not deny that there are corrupt guerrillas, 
nor that there are people who under the guise of guerrillas 
indulge in unlawful activities. Neither do we deny that 
the movement has at the present time symptoms of a lack 
of organization, symptoms that might indeed be serious 
were we to judge guerrilla warfare solely by the corrupt 
and temporary phenomena we have mentioned. We should 
study the corrupt phenomena and attempt to eradicate 
them in order to encourage guerrilla warfare, and to in- 
crease its military efficiency. "This is hard work, there is 
no help for it, and the problem cannot be solved immedi- 



45 



Mao Tse-'tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

ately. The whole people must try to reform themselves 
during the course of the war. We must educate them and 
reform them in the light of past experience. Evil does not 
exist in guerrilla warfare but only in the unorganized and 
undisciplined activities that are anarchism," said Lenin, in 
On Guerrilla Warfare* 

What is basic guerrilla strategy? Guerrilla strategy must 
be based primarily on alertness, mobility, and attack. It 
must be adjusted to the enemy situation, the terrain, the 
existing lines of communication, the relative strengths, the 
weather, and the situation of the people. 

In guerrilla warfare, select the tactic of seeming to come 
from the east and attacking from the west; avoid the solid, 
attack the hollow; attack; withdraw; deliver a lightning 
blow, seek a lightning decision. When guerrillas engage a 
stronger enemy, they withdraw when he advances; harass 
him when he stops; strike him when he is weary; pursue 
him when he withdraws. In guerrilla strategy, the enemy's 
rear, flanks, and other vulnerable spots are his vital points, 
and there he must be harassed, attacked, dispersed, ex- 
hausted and annihilated. Only in this way can guerrillas 
carry out their mission of independent guerrilla action and 
coordination with the effort of the regular armies. But, in 
spite of the most complete preparation, there can be no 
victory if mistakes are made in the matter of command. 
Guerrilla warfare based on the principles we have men- 
tioned and carried on over a vast extent of territory in which 

* Presumably, Mao refers here to the essay that has been translated 
into English under the title "Partisan Warfare." See Otbis, II (Sum- 
mer, 1958), No. 2, 194-208.-S.B.G. 

46 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

communications are inconvenient will contribute tremen- 
dously towards ultimate defeat of the Japanese and con- 
sequent emancipation of the Chinese people. 

A careful distinction must be made between two types 
of guerrilla warfare. The fact that rev61utionary guerrilla 
warfare is based on the masses of the people does not in 
itself mean that the organization of guerrilla units is im- 
possible in a war of counterrevolutionary character. As 
examples of the former type we may cite Red guerrilla hos- 
tilities during the Russian Revolution; those of the Reds 
in China; of the Abyssinians against the Italians for the 
past three years; those of the last seven years in Manchuria, 
and the vast anti-Japanese guerrilla war that is carried on 
in China today. All these struggles have been carried on in 
the interests of the whole people or the greater part of them; 
all had a broad basis in the national manpower, and all have 
been in accord with die laws of historical development. 
They have existed and will continue to exist, flourish, and 
develop as long as they are not contrary to national policy. 

The second type of guerrilla warfare directly contradicts 
the law of historical development. Of this type, we may 
cite the examples furnished by the White Russian guerrilla 
units organized by Denikin and Kolchak; those organized 
by the Japanese; those organized by the Italians in Abys- 
sinia; those supported by the puppet governments in Man- 
churia and Mongolia, and those that will be organized 
here by Chinese traitors. All such have oppressed the 
masses and have been contrary to the true interests of the 
people. They must be firmly opposed. They are easy to 
destroy because diey lack a broad foundation in the people. 



47 



Mao Tse-iung on Guerrilla Warfare 

If we fail to differentiate between the two types of guer- 
rilla hostilities mentioned, it is likely that we will exagger- 
ate their effect when applied by an invader. We might 
arrive at the conclusion that "the invader can organize 
guerrilla units from among the people." Such a conclusion 
might well diminish our confidence in guerrilla warfare. 
As far as this matter is concerned, we have but to remember 
the historical experience of revolutionary struggles. 

Further, we must distinguish general revolutionary wars 
from those of a purely "class" type. In the former case, the 
whole people of a nation, without regard to class or party, 
carry on a guerrilla struggle that is an instrument of the 
national policy. Its basis is, therefore, much broader than 
is the basis of a struggle of class type. Of a general guerrilla 
war, it has been said: "When a nation is invaded, the 
people become sympathetic to one another and all aid in 
organizing guerrilla units. In civil war, no matter to what 
extent guerrillas are developed, they do not produce the 
same results as when they are formed to resist an invasion 
by foreigners" (Civil War in Russia).* The one strong 
feature of guerrilla warfare in a civil struggle is its quality 
of internal purity. One class may be easily united and 
perhaps fight with great effect, whereas in a national revo- 
lutionary war, guerrilla units are faced with the problem 
of internal unification of different class groups. This 
necessitates the use of propaganda. Both types of guerrilla 

* Presumably, Mao refers here to Lessons of Civil War, by S. I. 
Gusev; first published in 1918 by the Staff Armed Forces, Ukraine; 
revised in 1921 and published by GIZ, Moscow; reprinted in 1958 by 
the Military Publishing House, Moscow.— S.B.G. 

48 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

war are, however, similar in that they both employ the 
same military methods. 

National guerrilla warfare, though historically of the 
same consistency, has employed varying implements as 
times, peoples, and conditions differ. Hie guerrilla aspects 
of the Opium War, those of the fighting in Manchuria 
since the Mukden incident, and those employed in China 
today are all slightly different. The guerrilla warfare con- 
ducted by the Moroccans against the French and the 
Spanish was not exactly similar to that which we conduct 
today in China. These differences express the character- 
istics of different peoples in different periods. Although 
there is a general similarity in the quality of all these 
struggles, there are dissimilarities in form. This fact we 
must recognize. Clausewitz wrote, in On War: "Wars in 
every period have independent forms and independent 
conditions, and, therefore, every period must have its in- 
dependent theory of war." Lenin, in On Guerrilla War- 
fare, said: "As regards the form of fighting, it is uncondi- 
tionally requisite that history be investigated in order to 
discover the conditions of environment, the state of eco- 
nomic progress, and the political ideas that obtained, the 
national characteristics, customs, and degree of civilization." 
Again: "It is necessary to be completely unsympathetic to 
abstract formulas and rules and to study with sympathy 
the conditions of the actual fighting, for these will change 
in accordance with the political and economic situations 
and the realization of the people's aspirations. These 
progressive changes in conditions create new methods." 

If, in today's struggle, we fail to apply the historical 



49 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

truths of revolutionary guerrilla war, we will fall into the 
error of believing with T'ou Hsi Sheng that under the 
impact of Japan's mechanized army, "the guerrilla unit 
has lost its historical function." Jen Ch'i Shan writes: "In 
olden days, guerrilla warfare was part of regular strategy 
but there is almost no chance that it can be applied today." 
These opinions are harmful. If we do not make an estimate 
of the characteristics peculiar to our anti-Japanese guerrilla 
war, but insist on applying to it mechanical formulas de- 
rived from past history, we are making the mistake of 
placing our hostilities in the same category as all other 
national guerrilla struggles. If we hold this view, we will 
simply be beating our heads against a stone wall and we 
will be unable to profit from guerrilla hostilities. 

To summarize: What is the guerrilla war of resistance 
against Japan? It is one aspect of the entire war, which, 
although alone incapable of producing the decision, at- 
tacks the enemy in every quarter, diminishes the extent of 
area under his control, increases our national strength, and 
assists our regular armies. It is one of the strategic instru- 
ments used to inflict defeat on our enemy. It is the one 
pure expression of anti-Japanese policy, that is to say, it is 
military strength organized by the active people and in- 
separable from them. It is a powerful special weapon with 
which we resist the Japanese and without which we can- 
not defeat them. 



50 



THE RELATION OF GUERRILLA 
HOSTILITIES TO REGULAR 
OPERATIONS 



The general features of orthodox hostilities, 
that is, the war of position and the war of move- 
ment, differ fundamentally from guerrilla warfare. There 
are other readily apparent differences such as those in 
organization, armament, equipment, supply, tactics, com- 
mand; in conception of the terms "front" and "rear"; in the 
matter of military responsibilities. 

When considered from the point of view of total num- 
bers, guerrilla units are many; as individual combat units, 
they may vary in size from the smallest, of several score 
or several hundred men, to the battalion or the regiment, of 
several thousand. This is not the case in regularly organ- 
ized units. A primary feature of guerrilla operations is their 
dependence upon the people themselves to organize bat- 
talions and other units. As a result of this, organization 
depends largely upon local circumstances. In the case of 
guerrilla groups, the standard of equipment is of a low 
order, and they must depend for their sustenance primarily 
upon what the locality affords. 



5i 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

The strategy of guerrilla warfare is manifestly unlike 
that employed in orthodox operations, as the basic tactic 
of the former is constant activity and movement. There is 
in guerrilla warfare no such thing as a decisive battle; there 
is nothing comparable to the fixed, passive defense that 
characterizes orthodox war. In guerrilla warfare, the trans- 
formation of a moving situation into a positional defensive 
situation never arises. The general features of reconnais- 
sance, partial deployment, general deployment, and devel- 
opment of the attack that are usual in mobile warfare are 
not common in guerrilla war. 

There are differences also in the matter of leadership 
and command. In guerrilla warfare, small units acting in- 
dependently play the principal role, and there must be no 
excessive interference with their activities. In orthodox 
warfare, particularly in a moving situation, a certain degree 
of initiative is accorded subordinates, but in principle, 
command is centralized. This is done because all units and 
all supporting arms in all districts must coordinate to the 
highest degree. In the case of guerrilla warfare, this is not 
only undesirable but impossible. Only adjacent guerrilla 
units can coordinate their activities to any degree. Strate- 
gically, their activities can be roughly correlated with those 
of the regular forces, and tactically, they must cooperate 
with adjacent units of the regular army. But there are no 
strictures on the extent of guerrilla activity nor is it prima- 
rily characterized by the quality of cooperation of many 
units. 

When we discuss the terms "front" and "rear," it must 
be remembered, that while guerrillas do have bases, their 



5 2 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

primary field of activity is in the enemy's rear areas. They 
themselves have no rear. Because an orthodox army has 
rear installations (except in some special cases as during 
the 10,000-mile* march of the Red Army or as in the case 
of certain units operating in Shansi Province), it cannot 
operate as guerrillas can. 

As to the matter of military responsibilities, those of the 
guerrillas are to exterminate small forces of the enemy; to 
harass and weaken large forces; to attack enemy lines of 
communication; to establish bases capable of supporting 
independent operations in the enemy's rear; to force the 
enemy to disperse his strength; and to coordinate all these 
activities with those of the regular armies on distant batde 
fronts. 

From the foregoing summary of differences that exist 
between guerrilla warfare and orthodox warfare, it can be 
seen that it is improper to compare the two. Further dis- 
tinction must be made in order to clarify this matter. While 
the Eighth Route Army is a regular army, its North China 
campaign is essentially guerrilla in nature, for it operates 
in the enemy's rear. On occasion, however, Eighth Route 
Army commanders have concentrated powerful forces to 
strike an enemy in motion, and the characteristics of ortho- 
dox mobile warfare were evident in the batde at P'ing 
Hsing Kuan and in other engagements. 

On the other hand, after the fall of Feng Ling Tu, the 
operations of Central Shansi, and Suiyuan, troops were 
more guerrilla than orthodox in nature. In this connection, 

* It has been estimated that the Reds actually marched about 6,000 
miles. See Introduction, Chapter II.— S.B.G. 



53 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

the precise character of Generalissimo Chiang's instruc- 
tions to the effect that independent brigades would carry 
out guerrilla operations should be recalled. In spite of such 
temporary activities, these orthodox units retained their 
identity and after the fall of Feng Ling Tu, they not only 
were able to fight along orthodox lines but often found it 
necessary to do so. This is an example of the fact that 
orthodox armies may, due to changes in the situation, 
temporarily function as guerrillas. 

Likewise, guerrilla units formed from the people may 
gradually develop into regular units and, when operating 
as such, employ the tactics of orthodox mobile war. While 
these units function as guerrillas, they may be compared to 
innumerable gnats, which, by biting a giant both in front 
and in rear, ultimately exhaust him. They make them- 
selves as unendurable as a group of cruel and hateful 
devils, and as they grow and attain gigantic proportions, 
they will find that their victim is not only exhausted but 
practically perishing. It is for this very reason that our 
guerrilla activities are a source of constant mental worry 
to Imperial Japan. 

While it is improper to confuse orthodox with guerrilla 
operations, it is equally improper to consider that there is a 
chasm between the two. While differences do exist, similar- 
ities appear under certain conditions, and this fact must be 
appreciated if we wish to establish clearly the relationship 
between the two. If we consider both types of warfare as a 
single subject, or if we confuse guerrilla warfare with the 
mobile operations of orthodox war, we fall into this error: 
We exaggerate the function of guerrillas and minimize 



54 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

that of the regular armies. If we agree with Chang Tso 
Hua, who says, "Guerrilla warfare is the primary war 
strategy of a people seeking to emancipate itself," or with 
Kao Kang, who believes that "Guerrilla strategy is the 
only strategy possible for an oppressed people," we are 
exaggerating the importance of guerrilla hostilities. What 
these zealous friends I have just quoted do not realize is 
this: If we do not fit guerrilla operations into their proper 
niche, we cannot promote them realistically. Then, not 
only would those who oppose us take advantage of our 
varying opinions to turn them to their own uses to under- 
mine us, but guerrillas would be led to assume respon- 
sibilities they could not successfully discharge and that 
should properly be carried out by orthodox forces. In the 
meantime, the important guerrilla function of coordinating 
activities with the regular forces would be neglected. 

Furthermore, if the theory that guerrilla warfare is our 
only strategy were actually applied, the regular forces 
would be weakened, we would be divided in purpose, and 
guerrilla hostilities would decline. If we say, "Let us trans- 
form the regular forces into guerrillas," and do not place 
our first reliance on a victory to be gained by the regular 
armies over the enemy, we may certainly expect to see as 
a result the failure of the anti-Japanese war of resistance. 
The concept that guerrilla warfare is an end in itself and 
that guerrilla activities can be divorced from those of the 
regular forces is incorrect. If we assume that guerrilla war- 
fare does not progress from beginning to end beyond its 
elementary forms, we have failed to recognize the fact that 
guerrilla hostilities can, under specific conditions, develop 



55 



Mao Tse-ttmg on Guerrilla Warfare 

and assume orthodox characteristics. An opinion that admits 
the existence of guerrilla war, but isolates it, is one that 
does not properly estimate the potentialities of such war. 

Equally dangerous is the concept that condemns guer- 
rilla war on the ground that war has no other aspects than 
the purely orthodox. This opinion is often expressed by 
those who have seen the corrupt phenomena of some 
guerrilla regimes, observed their lack of discipline, and 
have seen them used as a screen behind which certain 
persons have indulged in bribery and other corrupt prac- 
tices. These people will not admit the fundamental neces- 
sity for guerrilla bands that spring from the armed people. 
They say, "Only the regular forces are capable of conduct- 
ing guerrilla operations." This theory is a mistaken one and 
would lead to the abolition of the people's guerrilla war. 

A proper conception of the relationship that exists be- 
tween guerrilla effort and that of the regular forces is 
essential. We believe it can be stated this way: "Guerrilla 
operations during the anti-Japanese war may for a certain 
time and temporarily become its paramount feature, par- 
ticularly insofar as the enemy's rear is concerned. How- 
ever, if we view the war as a whole, there can be no doubt 
that our regular forces are of primary importance, because 
it is they who are alone capable of producing the decision. 
Guerrilla warfare assists them in producing this favorable 
decision. Orthodox forces may under certain conditions 
operate as guerrillas, and the latter may, under certain 
conditions, develop to the status of the former. However, 
both guerrilla forces and regular forces have their own 
respective development and their proper combinations." 

56 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

To clarify the relationship between the mobile aspect of 
orthodox war and guerrilla war, we may say that general 
agreement exists that the principal element of our strategy 
must be mobility. With the war of movement, we may at 
times combine the war of position. Both of these are as- 
sisted by general guerrilla hostilities. It is true that on the 
battlefield mobile war often becomes positional; it is true 
that this situation may be reversed; it is equally true that 
each form may combine with the other. The possibility of 
such combination will become more evident after the 
prevailing standards of equipment have been raised. For 
example, in a general strategical counterattack to recapture 
key cities and lines of communication, it would be normal 
to use both mobile and positional methods. However, the 
point must again be made that our fundamental strategical 
form must be the war of movement. If we deny this, we 
cannot arrive at the victorious solution of the war. In sum, 
while we must promote guerrilla warfare as a necessary 
strategical auxiliary to orthodox operations, we must neither 
assign it the primary position in our war strategy nor sub- 
stitute it for mobile and positional warfare as conducted by 
orthodox forces. 



57 



GUERRILLA WARFARE IN HISTORY 



Guerrilla warfare is neither a product of 
China nor peculiar to the present day. From 
ihe earliest historical days, it has been a feature of wars 
fought by every class of men against invaders and oppres- 
sors. Under suitable conditions, it has great possibilities. 
The many guerrilla wars in history have their points of 
difference, their peculiar characteristics, their varying proc- 
esses and conclusions, and we must respect and profit by 
the experience of those whose blood was shed in them. 
What a pity it is that the priceless experience gained dur- 
ing the several hundred wars waged by the peasants of 
China cannot be marshaled today to guide us. Our only 
experience in guerrilla hostilities has been that gained 
from the several conflicts that have been carried on against 
us by foreign imperialisms. But that experience should 
help the fighting Chinese recognize the necessity for guer- 
rilla warfare and should confirm them in confidence of 
^ultimate victory. 

In September, 1812, the Frenchman Napoleon, in the 
course of swallowing all of Europe, invaded Russia at the 
head of a great army totaling several hundred thousand 
infantry, cavalry, and artillery. At that time, Russia was 

58 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

weak and her ill-prepared army was not concentrated. The 
most important phase of her strategy was the use made 
of Cossack cavalry and detachments of peasants to carry 
on guerrilla operations. After giving up Moscow, the Rus- 
sians formed nine guerrilla divisions of dbout five hundred 
men each. These, and vast groups of organized peasants, 
carried on partisan warfare and continually harassed the 
French Army. When the French Army was withdrawing, 
cold and starving, Russian guerrillas blocked the way and, 
in combination with regular troops, carried out counter- 
attacks on the French rear, pursuing and defeating them. 
The army of the heroic Napoleon was almost entirely an- 
nihilated, and the guerrillas captured many officers, men, 
cannon, and rifles. Though the victory was the result of 
various factors, and depended largely on the activities of 
the regular army, the function of the partisan groups was 
extremely important. "The corrupt and poorly organized 
country that was Russia defeated and destroyed an army 
led by the most famous soldier of Europe and won the war 
in spite of the fact that her ability to organize guerrilla 
regimes was not fully developed. At times, guerrilla groups 
were hindered in their operations and the supply of equip- 
ment and arms was insufficient. If we use the Russian 
saying, it was a case of a battle between 'the fist and the 
ax' " (Ivanov). 

From 1918 to 1920, the Russian Soviets, because of the 
opposition and intervention of foreign imperialisms and the 
internal disturbances of White Russian groups, were forced 
to organize themselves in occupied territories and fight a 
real war. In Siberia and Alashan, in the rear of the army 



59 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

of the traitor Denikin and in the rear of the Poles, there 
were many Red Russian guerrillas. These not only dis- 
rupted and destroyed the communications in the enemy's 
rear but also frequently prevented his advance. On one 
occasion, the guerrillas completely destroyed a retreating 
White Army that had previously been defeated by regular 
Red forces. Kolchak, Denikin, the Japanese, and the Poles, 
owing to the necessity of staving off the attacks of guer- 
rillas, were forced to withdraw regular troops from the 
front. "Thus not only was the enemy's manpower im- 
poverished but he found himself unable to cope with the 
ever-moving guerrilla" (The Nature of Guerrilla Action^). 
The development of guerrillas at that time had only 
reached the stage where there were detached groups of 
several thousands in strength, old, middle aged, and 
young. The old men organized themselves into propaganda 
groups known as "silver-haired units"; there was a suitable 
guerrilla activity for the middle aged; the young men 
formed combat units, and diere were even groups for the 
children. Among the leaders were determined Communists 
who carried on general political work among the people. 
These, although they opposed the doctrine of extreme 
guerrilla warfare, were quick to oppose those who con- 
demned it. Experience tells us that "Orthodox armies are 
the fundamental and principal power; guerrilla units are 
secondary to them and assist in the accomplishment of the 
mission assigned the regular forces" (Lessons of the Civil 
War in Russia).* Many of the guerrilla regimes in Russia 
gradually developed until in battle they were able to dis- 
• See p. 48 n.-S.B.G. 

60 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

charge functions of organized regulars. The army of the 
famous General Galen was entirely derived from guerrillas. 

During seven months in 1935 and 1936, the Abyssinians 
lost their war against Italy. The cause of defeat— aside from 
the most important political reasons' that there were dis- 
sentient political groups, no strong government party, and 
unstable policy— was the failure to adopt a positive policy 
of mobile warfare. There was never a combination of the 
war of movement with large-scale guerrilla operations. 
Ultimately, the Abyssinians adopted a purely passive de- 
fense, with the result that they were unable to defeat the 
Italians. In addition to this, the fact that Abyssinia is a 
relatively small and sparsely populated country was con- 
tributory. Even in spite of the fact that the Abyssinian 
Army and its equipment were not modern, she was able 
to withstand a mechanized Italian force of 400,000 for 
seven months. During that period, there were several occa- 
sions when a war of movement was combined with large- 
scale guerrilla operations to strike the Italians heavy blows. 
Moreover, several cities were retaken and casualties total- 
ing 140,000 were inflicted. Had this policy been stead- 
fastly continued, it would have been difficult to have named 
the ultimate winner. At the present time, guerrilla activities 
continue in Abyssinia, and if the internal political ques- 
tions can be solved, an extension of such activities is 
probable. 

In 1841 and 1842, when brave people from San Yuan Li 
fought the English; again from 1850 to 1864, during the 
Taiping War, and for a third time in 1899, in the Boxer 
Uprising, guerrilla tactics were employed to a remarkable 



Mao Tse^tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

degree. Particularly was this so during the Taiping War, 
when guerrilla operations were most extensive and the 
Ch'ing troops were often completely exhausted and forced 
to flee for their lives. 

In these wars, there were no guiding principles of guer- 
rilla action. Perhaps these guerrilla hostilities were not 
carried out in conjunction with regular operations, or per- 
haps there was a lack of coordination. But the fact that 
victory was not gained was not because of any lack in 
guerrilla activity but rather because of the interference of 
politics in military affairs. Experience shows that if preced- 
ence is not given to the question of conquering the enemy 
in both political and military affairs, and if regular hos- 
tilities are not conducted with tenacity, guerrilla operations 
alone cannot produce final victory. 

From 1927 to 1936, the Chinese Red Army fought al- 
most continually and employed guerrilla tactics constantly. 
At the very beginning, a positive policy was adopted. 
Many bases were established, and from guerrilla bands, the 
Reds were able to develop into regular armies. As these 
armies fought, new guerrilla regimes were developed over 
a wide area. These regimes coordinated their efforts with 
those of the regular forces. This policy accounted for the 
many victories gained by guerrilla troops relatively few in 
number, who were armed with weapons inferior to those 
of their opponents. The leaders of that period properly 
combined guerrilla operations with a war of movement 
both strategically and tactically. They depended primarily 
upon alertness. They stressed the correct basis for both 
political affairs and military operations. They developed 

62 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

their guerrilla bands into trained units. They then deter- 
mined upon a ten-year period of resistance during which 
time they overcame innumerable difficulties and have only 
lately reached their goal of direct participation in the anti- 
Japanese war. There is no doubt that* the internal unifica- 
tion of China is now a permanent and definite fact and 
that the experience gained during our internal struggles 
has proved to be both necessary and advantageous to us 
in the struggle against Japanese imperialism. There are 
many valuable lessons we can learn from the experience 
of those years. Principal among them is the fact that guer- 
rilla success largely depends upon powerful political leaders 
who work unceasingly to bring about internal unification. 
Such leaders must work with the people; they must have 
a correct conception of the policy to be adopted as regards 
both the people and the enemy. 

After September 18, 1931, strong anti-Japanese guerrilla 
campaigns were opened in each of the three northeast 
provinces. Guerrilla activity persists there in spite of the 
cruelties and deceits practiced by the Japanese at the ex- 
pense of the people, and in spite of the fact that her armies 
have occupied the land and oppressed the people for the 
last seven years. The struggle can be divided into two 
periods. During the first, which extended from September 
18, 1931, to January, 1933, anti-Japanese guerrilla activity 
exploded constantly in all three provinces. Ma Chan Shan 
and Ssu Ping Wei established an anti-Japanese regime in 
Heilungkiang. In Chi Lin, the National Salvation Army 
and the Self-Defense Army were led by Wang Te Lin and 
Li Tu respectively. In Feng Tien, Chu Lu and others 

63 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

commanded guerrilla units. The influence of these forces 
was great. They harassed the Japanese unceasingly, but 
because there was an indefinite political goal, improper 
leadership, failure to coordinate military command and 
operations and to work with the people, and, finally, failure 
to delegate proper political functions to the army, the 
whole organization was feeble, and its strength was not 
unified. As a direct result of these conditions, the cam- 
paigns failed and the troops were finally defeated by our 
enemy. 

During the second period, which has extended from 
January, 1933, to the present time, the situation has greatly 
improved. This has come about because great numbers of 
people who have been oppressed by the enemy have de- 
cided to resist him, because of the participation of the 
Chinese Communists in the anti-Japanese war, and because 
of the fine work of the volunteer units. The guerrillas have 
finally educated the people to the meaning of guerrilla 
warfare, and in the northeast, it has again become an im- 
portant and powerful influence. Already seven or eight 
guerrilla regiments and a number of independent platoons 
have been formed, and their activities make it necessary 
for the Japanese to send troops after them month after 
month. These units hamper the Japanese and undermine 
their control in the northeast, while, at the same time, they 
inspire a Nationalist revolution in Korea. Such activities 
are not merely of transient and local importance but directly 
contribute to our ultimate victory. 

However, there are still some weak points. For instance: 
National defense policy has not been sufficiently developed; 

64 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

participation of the people is not general; internal political 
organization is still in its primary stages, and the force 
used to attack the Japanese and the puppet governments 
is not yet sufficient. But if present policy is continued 
tenaciously, all these weaknesses will be overcome. Experi- 
ence proves that guerrilla war will develop to even greater 
proportions and that, in spite of the cruelty of the Japanese 
and the many methods they have devised to cheat the 
people, they cannot extinguish guerrilla activities in the 
three northeastern provinces. 

The guerrilla experiences of China and of other coun- 
tries that have been outlined prove that in a war of revolu- 
tionary nature such hostilities are possible, natural and 
necessary. They prove that if the present anti-Japanese 
war for the emancipation of the masses of the Chinese 
people is to gain ultimate victory, such hostilities must 
expand tremendously. 

Historical experience is written in iron and blood. We 
must point out that the guerrilla campaigns being waged 
in China today are a page in history that has no precedent. 
Their influence will not be confined solely to China in her 
present anti-Japanese war but will be world-wide. 



65 



4 



CAN VICTORY BE ATTAINED BY 
GUERRILLA OPERATIONS? 



Guerrilla hostilities are but one phase of 
the war of resistance against Japan and the 
answer to the question of whether or not they can produce 
ultimate victory can be given only after investigation and 
comparison of all elements of our own strength with those 
of the enemy. The particulars of such a comparison are 
several. First, the strong Japanese bandit nation is an abso- 
lute monarchy. During the course of her invasion of China, 
she had made comparative progress in the techniques of 
industrial production and in the development of excellence 
and skill in her army, navy, and air force. But in spite of 
this industrial progress, she remains an absolute monarchy 
of inferior physical endowments. Her manpower, her raw 
materials, and her financial resources are all inadequate 
and insufficient to maintain her in protracted warfare or 
to meet the situation presented by a war prosecuted over 
a vast area. Added to this is the antiwar feeling now 
manifested by the Japanese people, a feeling that is shared 
by the junior officers and, more extensively, by the soldiers 
of the invading army. Furthermore, China is not Japan's 

66 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

only enemy. Japan is unable to employ her entire strength 
in the attack on China; she cannot, at most, spare more 
than a million men for this purpose, as she must hold any 
in excess of that number for use against other possible 
opponents. Because of these important primary considera- 
tions, the invading Japanese bandits can hope neither to 
be victorious in a protracted struggle nor to conquer a vast 
area. Their strategy must be one of lightning war and 
speedy decision. If we can hold out for three or more 
years, it will be most difficult for Japan to bear up under 
the strain. 

In the war, the Japanese brigands must depend upon 
lines of communication linking the principal cities as 
routes for the transport of war materials. The most im- 
portant considerations for her are that her rear be stable 
and peaceful and that her lines of communication be in- 
tact. It is not to her advantage to wage war over a vast 
area with disrupted lines of communication. She cannot 
disperse her strength and fight in a number of places, and 
her greatest fears are thus eruptions in her rear and dis- 
ruption of her lines of communication. If she can maintain 
communications, she will be able at will to concentrate 
powerful forces speedily at strategic points to engage our 
organized units in decisive battle. Another important Japa- 
nese objective is to profit from the industries, finances, and 
manpower in captured areas and with them to augment 
her own insufficient strength. Certainly, it is not to her 
advantage to forgo these benefits, nor to be forced to dis- 
sipate her energies in a type of warfare in which the gains 
will not compensate for the losses. It is for these reasons 

6 7 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

that guerrilla warfare conducted in each bit of conquered 
territory over a wide area will be a heavy blow struck at 
the Japanese bandits. Experience in the five northern prov- 
inces as well as in Kiangsu, Chekiang, and Anhwei has 
absolutely established the truth of this assertion. 

China is a country half colonial and half feudal; it is a 
country that is politically, militarily, and economically 
backward. This is an inescapable conclusion. It is a vast 
country with great resources and tremendous population, 
a country in which the terrain is complicated and the 
facilities for communication are poor. All these factors 
favor a protracted war; they all favor the application of 
mobile warfare and guerrilla operations. The establishment 
of innumerable anti-Japanese bases behind the enemy's 
lines will force him to fight unceasingly in many places 
at once, both to his front and his rear. He thus endlessly 
expends his resources. 

We must unite the strength of the army with that of the 
people; we must strike the weak spots in the enemy's 
flanks, in his front, in his rear. We must make war every- 
where and cause dispersal of his forces and dissipation of 
his strength. Thus the time will come when a gradual 
change will become evident in the relative position of 
ourselves and our enemy, and when that day comes, it will 
be the beginning of our ultimate victory over the Japanese. 

Although China's population is great, it is unorganized. 
This is a weakness which must be taken into account. 
The Japanese bandits have invaded our country not 

68 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

merely to conquer territory but to carry out the violent, 
rapacious, and murderous policy of their government, 
which is the extinction of the Chinese race. For this com- 
pelling reason, we must unite the nation without regard 
to parties or classes and follow our policy of resistance to 
the end. China today is not the China of old. It is not like 
Abyssinia. China today is at the point of her greatest his- 
torical progress. The standards of literacy among the masses 
have been raised; the ra-p-prochement of Communists and 
Nationalists has laid the foundation for an anti-Japanese 
war front that is constantly being strengthened and ex- 
panded; government, army, and people are all working with 
great energy; the raw-material resources and the economic 
strength of the nation are waiting to be used; the unor' 
ganized people is becoming an organized nation. 

These energies must be directed toward the goal of pro- 
tracted war so that should the Japanese occupy much of our 
territory or even most of it, we shall still gain final victory. 
Not only must those behind our lines organize for resist- 
ance but also those who live in Japanese-occupied territory 
in every part of the country. The traitors who accept the 
Japanese as fathers are few in number, and those who 
have taken oath that they would prefer death to abject 
slavery are many. If we resist with this spirit, what enemy 
can we not conquer and who can say that ultimate victory 
will not be ours? 

The Japanese are waging a barbaric war along uncivi- 
lized lines. For that reason, Japanese of all classes oppose 
the policies of their government, as do vast international 

69 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

groups. On the other hand, because China's cause is right- 
eous, our countrymen of all classes and parties are united, 
to oppose the invader; we have sympathy in many foreign 
countries, including even Japan itself. This is perhaps the 
most important reason why Japan will lose and China will 
win. 

The progress of the war for the emancipation of the 
Chinese people will be in accord with these facts. The 
guerrilla war of resistance will be in accord with these 
facts, and that guerrilla operations correlated with those of 
our regular forces will produce victory is the conviction of 
the many patriots who devote their entire strength to guer- 
rilla hostilities. 



70 



ORGANIZATION FOR 
GUERRILLA WARFARE 



F 



OUR POINTS MUST BE CONSIDERED Under this 

subject. These are: 

1. How are guerrilla bands formed? 

2. How are guerrilla bands organized? 

3. What are the methods of arming guerrilla bands? 

4. What elements constitute a guerrilla band? 

These are all questions pertaining to the organization of 
armed guerrilla units; they are questions which those who 
have had no experience in guerrilla hostilities do not under- 
stand and on which they can arrive at no sound decisions; 
indeed, they would not know in what manner to begin. 

How Guerrilla Units Are Originally Formed 

The unit may originate in any one of the following 
ways: 

a) From the masses of the people. 

b) From regular army units temporarily detailed for the 
purpose. 

c) From regular army units permanently detailed. 



7* 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

d) From the combination of a regular army unit and a 
unit recruited from the people. 

e) From the local militia. 

f) From deserters from the ranks of the enemy. 

g) From former bandits and bandit groups. 

In the present hostilities, no doubt, all these sources will be 
employed. 

In the first case above, the guerrilla unit is formed from 
the people. This is the fundamental type. Upon the arrival 
of the enemy army to oppress and slaughter the people, 
their leaders call upon them to resist. They assemble the 
most valorous elements, arm them with old rifles or bird 
guns, and thus a giferrilla unit begins. Orders have already 
been issued throughout the nation that call upon the peo- 
ple to form guerrilla units both for local defense and for 
other combat. If the local governments approve and aid 
such movements, they cannot fail to prosper. In some 
places, where the local government is not determined or 
where its officers have all fled, the leaders among the 
masses (relying on the sympathy of the people and their 
sincere desire to resist Japan and succor the country) call 
upon the people to resist, and they respond. Thus, many 
guerrilla units are organized. In circumstances of this kind, 
the duties of leadership usually fall upon the shoulders of 
young students, teachers, professors, other educators, local 
soldiery, professional men, artisans, and those without a 
fixed profession, who are willing to exert themselves to the 
last drop of their blood. Recently, in Shansi, Hopeh, 
Chahar, Suiyuan, Shantung, Chekiang, Anhwei, Kiangsu, 



7* 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

and other provinces, extensive guerrilla hostilities have 
broken out. All these are organized and led by patriots. 
The amount of such activity is the best proof of the fore- 
going statement. The more such bands there are, the better 
will the situation be. Each district, each county, should be 
able to organize a great number of guerrilla squads, which, 
when assembled, form a guerrilla company. 

There are those who say: "I am a farmer," or, "I am a 
student"; "I can discuss literature but not military arts." 
This is incorrect. There is no profound difference between 
the farmer and the soldier. You must have courage. You 
simply leave your farms and become soldiers. That you are 
farmers is of no difference, and if you have education, that 
is sO much the better. When you take your arms in hand, 
you become soldiers; when you are organized, you become 
military units. 

Guerrilla hostilities are the university of war, and after 
you have fought several times valiantly and aggressively, 
you may become a leader of troops, and there will be many 
well-known regular soldiers who will not be your peers. 
Without question, the fountainhead of guerrilla warfare 
is in the masses of the people, who organize guerrilla units 
directly from themselves. 

The second type of guerrilla unit is that which is organ- 
ized from small units of the regular forces temporarily 
detached for the purpose. For example, since hostilities 
commenced, many groups have been temporarily detached 
from armies, divisions, and brigades and have been assigned 
guerrilla duties. A regiment of the regular army may, if 
circumstances warrant, be dispersed into groups for the 



73 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

purpose of carrying on guerrilla operations. As an example 
of this, there is the Eighth Route Army, in North China. 
Excluding the periods when it carries on mobile operations 
as an army, it is divided into its elements and these carry 
on guerrilla hostilities. This type of guerrilla unit is essen- 
tial for two reasons. First, in mobile-warfare situations, the 
coordination of guerrilla activities with regular operations 
is necessary. Second, until guerrilla hostilities can be devpl 
oped on a grand scale, there is no one to carry out guerrilla 
missions but regulars. Historical experience shows us that 
regular army units are not able to undergo the hardships 
of guerrilla campaigning over long periods. The leaders 
of regular units engaged in guerrilla operations must be 
extremely adaptable. They must study the methods of 
guerrilla war. They must understand that initiative, dis- 
cipline, and the employment of stratagems are all of the 
utmost importance. As the guerrilla status of regular units 
is but temporary, their leaders must lend all possible support 
to the organization of guerrilla units from among the people. 
These units must be so disciplined that they hold together 
after the departure of the regulars. 

The third type of unit consists of a detachment of regu- 
lars who are permanently assigned guerrilla duties.. This 
type of small detachment does not have to be prepared to 
rejoin the regular forces. Its post is somewhere in the rear 
of the enemy, and there it becomes the backbone of guer- 
rilla organization. As an example of this type of organiza- 
tion, we may take the Wu Tai Shan district in the heart 
of the Hopeh-Chahar-Shansi area. Along the borders of 
these provinces, units from the Eighth Route Army have 



74 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

established a framework for guerrilla operations. Around 
these small cores, many detachments have been organized 
and the area of guerrilla activity greatly expanded. In areas 
in which there is a possibility of cutting the enemy's lines 
of supply, this system should be used. Severing enemy 
supply routes destroys his life line; this is one feature that 
cannot be neglected. If, at the time the regular forces 
withdraw from a certain area, some units are left behind, 
these should conduct guerrilla operations in the enemy's 
rear. As an example of this, we have the guerrilla bands now 
continuing their independent operations in the Shanghai- 
Woosung area in spite of the withdrawal of regular forces. 

The fourth type of organization is the result of a merger 
between small regular detachments and local guerrilla 
units. The regular forces may dispatch a squad, a platoon, 
or a company, which is placed at the disposal of the local 
guerrilla commander. If a small group experienced in mili- 
tary and political affairs is sent, it becomes the core of the 
local guerrilla unit. These several methods are all excellent, 
and if properly applied, the intensity of guerrilla warfare 
can be extended. In the Wu Tai Shan area, each of these 
methods has been used. 

The fifth type mentioned above is formed from the local 
militia, from police and home guards. In every North 
China province, there are now many of these groups, and 
they should be formed in every locality. The government 
has issued a mandate to the effect that the people are not 
to depart from war areas. The officer in command of the 
county, the commander of the peace-preservation unit, the 
chief of police are all required to obey this mandate. They 



75 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

cannot retreat with their forces but must remain at their 
stations and resist. 

The sixth type or unit is that organized from troops that 
come over from the enemy— the Chinese "traitor troops" 
employed by the Japanese. It is always possible to produce 
disaffection in their ranks, and we must increase our propa- 
ganda efforts and foment mutinies among such troops. 
Immediately after mutinying, they must be received into 
our ranks and organized. The concord of the leaders and 
the assent of the men must be gained, and the units re- 
built politically and reorganized militarily. Once this has 
been accomplished, they become successful guerrilla units. 
In regard to this type of unit, it may be said that political 
work among them is of the utmost importance. 

The seventh type of guerrilla organization is that formed 
from bands of bandits and brigands. This, although dif- 
ficult, must be carried out with utmost vigor lest the enemy 
use such bands to his own advantage. Many bandit groups 
pose as anti-Japanese guerrillas, and it is only necessary to 
correct their political beliefs to convert them. 

In spite of inescapable differences in the fundamental 
types of guerrilla bands, it is possible to unite them to form 
a vast sea of guerrillas. The ancients said, "Tai Shan is a 
great mountain because it does not scorn the merest hand- 
ful of dirt; the rivers and seas are deep because they absorb 
the waters of small streams." Attention paid to the enlist- 
ment and organization of guerrillas of every type and from 
every source will increase the potentialities of guerrilla 
action in the anti-Japanese war. This is something that 
patriots will not neglect. 

76 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

The Method of Organizing Guerrilla Regimes 

Many of those who decide to participate in guerrilla 
activities do not know the methods of organization. For 
such people, as well as for students whq have no knowledge 
of military affairs, the matter of organization is a problem 
that requires solution. Even among those who have military 
knowledge, there are some who know nothing of guerrilla 
regimes because they are lacking in that particular type 
of experience. The subject of the organization of such 
regimes is not confined to the organization of specific units 
but includes all guerrilla activities within the area where 
the regime functions. 

As an example of such organization, we may take a 
geographical area in the enemy's rear. This area may com- 
prise many counties. It must be subdivided and individual 
companies or battalions formed to accord with the sub- 
divisions. To this "military area," a military commander 
and political commissioners are appointed. Under these, 
the necessary officers, both military and political, are ap- 
pointed. In the military headquarters, there will be the 
staff, the aides, the supply officers, and the medical per- 
sonnel. These are controlled by the chief of staff, who 
acts in accordance with orders from the commander. In 
the political headquarters, there are bureaus of propaganda 
organization, people's mass movements, and miscellaneous 
affairs. Control of these is vested in the political chairmen. 

The military areas are subdivided into smaller districts 
in accordance with local geography, the enemy situation 
locally, and the state of guerrilla development. Each of 



77 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

these smaller divisions within the area is a district, each 
of which may consist of from two to six counties. To each 
district, a military commander and several political com- 
missioners are appointed. Under their direction, military 
and political headquarters are organized. Tasks are assigned 
in accordance with the number of guerrilla troops avail- 
able. Although the names of the officers in the "district" 
correspond to those in the larger "area," the number of 
functionaries assigned in the former case should be reduced 
to the least possible. In order to unify control, to handle 
guerrilla troops that come from different sources, and to 
harmonize military operations and local political affairs, a 
committee of from seven to nine members should be organ- 
ized in each area and district. This committee, the mem- 
bers of which are selected by the troops and the local 
political officers, should function as a forum for the dis- 
cussion of both military and political matters. 

All the people in an area should arm themselves and be 
organized into two groups. One of these groups is a com- 
bat group, the other a self-defense unit with but limited 
military quality. Regular combatant guerrillas are organized 
into one of three general types of unit. The first of these 
is the small unit, the platoon or company. In each county, 
three to six units may be organized. The second type is 
the battalion of from two to four companies. One such 
unit should be organized in each county. While the unit 
fundamentally belongs to the county in which it was organ- 
ized, it may operate in other counties. While in areas other 
than its own, it must operate in conjunction with local 
units in order to take advantage of their manpower, their 

78 



Yu Chi Chan {Guerrilla Warfare) 

knowledge of local terrain and local customs, and their 
information of the enemy. 

The third type is the guerrilla regiment, which consists 
of from two to four of the above-mentioned battalion units. 
If sufficient manpower is available, a 'guerrilla brigade of 
from two to four regiments may be formed. 

Each of the units has its own peculiarities of organiza- 
tion. A squad, the smallest unit, has a strength of from 
nine to eleven men, including the leader and the assistant 
leader. Its arms may be from two to five Western-style 
rifles, with the remaining men armed with rifles of local 
manufacture, bird guns, spears, or big swords. Two to four 
such squads form a platoon. This, too, has a leader and an 
assistant leader, and when acting independently, it is as- 
signed a political officer to carry on political propaganda 
work. The platoon may have about ten rifles, with the 
remainder of its weapons being bird guns, lances, and big 
swords. Two to four of such units form a company, which, 
like the platoon, has a leader, an assistant leader, and a 
political officer. All these units are under the direct super- 
vision of the military commanders of the areas in which 
they operate. 

The battalion unit must be more thoroughly organized 
and better equipped than the smaller units. Its discipline 
and its personnel should be superior. If a battalion is formed 
from company units, it should not deprive subordinate 
units entirely of their manpower and their arms. If, in a 
small area, there is a peace-preservation corps, a branch of 
the militia, or police, regular guerrilla units should not be 
dispersed over it. 



79 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

The guerrilla unit next in size to the battalion is the 
regiment. This must be under more severe discipline than 
the battalion. In an independent guerrilla regiment, there 
may be ten men per squad, three squads per platoon, three 
platoons per company, three companies per battalion, and 
three battalions to the regiment. Two of such regiments 
form a brigade. Each of these units has a commander, a 
vice-commander, and a political officer. 

In North China, guerrilla cavalry units should be estab- 
lished. These may be regiments of from two to four com- 
panies, or battalions. 

All these units from the lowest to the highest are com- 
batant guerrilla units and receive their supplies from the 
central government. Details of their organization are shown 
in the tables.* 

All the people of both sexes from the ages of sixteen to 
forty-five must be organized into anti-Japanese self-defense 
units, the basis of which is voluntary service. As a first 
step, they must procure arms, then they must be given 
both military and political training. Their responsibilities 
are: local sentry duties, securing information of the enemy, 
arresting traitors, and preventing the dissemination of 
enemy propaganda. When the enemy launches a guerrilla- 
suppression drive, these units, armed with what weapons 
there are, are assigned to certain areas to deceive, hinder, 
and harass him. Thus, the self-defense units assist the 
combatant guerrillas. They have other functions. They 
furnish stretcher-bearers to transport the wounded, carriers 
to take food to the troops, and comfort missions to provide 

* See Appendix.— S.B.G. 

80 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

the troops with tea and rice. If a locality can organize such 
a self-defense unit as we have described, the traitors can- 
not hide nor can bandits and robbers disturb the peace of 
the people. Thus the people will continue to assist the 
guerrillas and supply manpower to our regular armies. "The 
organization of self-defense units is a transitional step in 
the development of universal conscription. Such units are 
reservoirs of manpower for the orthodox forces." 

There have been such organizations for some time in 
Shansi, Shensi, Honan, and Suiyuan. The youth organiza- 
tions in different provinces were formed for the purpose 
of educating the young. They have been of some help. 
However, they were not voluntary, and the confidence of 
the people was thus not gained. These organizations were 
not widespread, and their effect was almost negligible. 
This system was, therefore, supplanted by the new-type 
organizations, which are organized on the principles of 
voluntary cooperation and nonseparation of the members 
from their native localities. When the members of these 
organizations are in their native towns, they support them- 
selves. Only in case of military necessity are they ordered 
to remote places, and when this is done, the government 
must support them. Each member of these groups must have 
a weapon even if the weapon is only a knife, a pistol, a 
lance, or a spear. 

In all places where the enemy operates, these self-defense 
units should organize within themselves a small guerrilla 
group of perhaps from three to ten men armed with pistols 
or revolvers. This group is not required to leave its native 
locality. 

81 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

The organization of these self-defense units is men- 
tioned in this book because such units are useful for the 
purposes of inculcating the people with military and polit- 
ical knowledge, keeping order in the rear, and replenishing 
the ranks of the regulars. These groups should be organ- 
ized not only in the active war zones but in every province 
in China. "The people must be inspired to cooperate vol- 
untarily. We must not force them, for if we do, it will be 
ineffectual." This is extremely important. The organization 
of a self-defense army similar to that we have mentioned 
is shown in Table 5.* 

In order to control anti-Japanese military organization 
as a whole, it is necessary to establish a system of military 
areas and districts along the lines we have indicated. The 
organization of such areas and districts is shown in Table 6. 

Equipment of Guerrillas 

In regard to the problem of guerrilla equipment, it must 
be understood that guerrillas are lightly armed attack groups, 
which require simple equipment. The standard of equip- 
ment is based upon the nature of duties assigned; the 
equipment of low-class guerrilla units is not as good as 
that of higher-class units. For example, those who are as- 
signed the task of destroying railroads are better-equipped 
than those who do not have that task. The equipment of 
guerrillas cannot be based on what the guerrillas want, 
or even what they need, but must be based on what is 
available for their use. Equipment cannot be furnished 

* Unfortunately, this table, as well as Table 6, was omitted from the 
edition of Yu Chi Chan available to me.— S.B.G. 

82 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

immediately but must be acquired gradually. These are 
points to be kept in mind. 

The question of equipment includes the collection, sup- 
ply, distribution, and replacement of weapons, ammunition, 
blankets, communication materials, transport, and facilities 
for propaganda work. The supply of weapons and am- 
munition is most difficult, particularly at the time the unit 
is established, but this problem can always be solved 
eventually. Guerrilla bands that originate in the people are 
furnished with revolvers, pistols, bird guns, spears, big 
swords, and land mines and mortars of local manufacture. 
Other elementary weapons are added and as many new- 
type rifles as are available are distributed. After a period 
of resistance, it is possible to increase the supply of equip- 
ment by capturing it from the enemy. In this respect, the 
transport companies are the easiest to equip, for in any 
successful attack, we will capture the enemy's transport. 

An armory should be established in each guerrilla dis- 
trict for the manufacture and repair of rifles and for the 
production of cartridges, hand grenades, and bayonets. 
Guerrillas must not depend too much on an armory. The 
enemy is the principal source of their supply. 

For destruction of railway trackage, bridges, and stations 
in enemy-controlled territory, it is necessary to gather to- 
gether demolition materials. Troops must be trained in the 
preparation and use of demolitions, and a demolition unit 
must be organized in each regiment. 

As for minimum clothing requirements, these are that 
each man shall have at least two summer-weight uniforms, 
one suit of winter clothing, two hats, a pair of wrap put 

83 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

tees, and a blanket. Each man must have a haversack or 
a bag for food. In the north, each man must have an over- 
coat. In acquiring this clothing, we cannot depend on 
captures made from the enemy, for it is forbidden for 
captors to take clothing from their prisoners. In order to 
maintain high morale in guerrilla forces, all the clothing 
and equipment mentioned should be furnished by the 
representatives of the government stationed in each guer- 
rilla district. These men may confiscate clothing from 
traitors or ask contributions from those best able to afford 
them. In subordinate groups, uniforms are unnecessary. 

Telephone and radio equipment is not necessary in lower 
groups, but all units from regiment up are equipped with 
both. This material can be obtained by contributions from 
the regular forces and by capture from the enemy. 

In the guerrilla army in general, and at bases in par- 
ticular, there must be a high standard of medical equip- 
ment. Besides the services of the doctors, medicines must 
be procured. Although guerrillas can depend on the enemy 
for some portion of their medical supplies, they must, in 
general, depend upon contributions. If Western medicines 
are not available, local medicines must be made to suffice. 

The problem of transport is more vital in North China 
than in the south, for in the south all that are necessary are 
mules and horses. Small guerrilla units need no animals, 
but regiments and brigades will find them necessary. Com- 
manders and staffs of units from companies up should be 
furnished a riding animal each. At times, two officers will 
have to share a horse. Officers whose duties are of minor 
nature do not have to be mounted. 



84 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

Propaganda materials are very important. Every Jarge 
guerrilla unit should have a printing press and a mimeo- 
graph stone. They must also have paper on which to print 
propaganda leaflets and notices. They must be supplied 
with chalk and large brushes. In guerrilla areas, there 
should be a printing press or a lead-type press. 

For the purpose of printing training instructions, this 
material is of the greatest importance. 

In addition to the equipment listed above, it is necessary 
to have field glasses, compasses, and military maps. An 
accomplished guerrilla group will acquire these things. 

Because of the proved importance of guerrilla hostilities 
in the anti-Japanese war, the headquarters of the National- 
ist Government and the commanding officers of the vari- 
ous war zones should do their best to supply the guerrillas 
with what they actually need and are unable to get for 
themselves. However, it must be repeated that guerrilla 
equipment will in the main depend on the efforts of the 
guerrillas themselves. If they depend on higher officers too 
much, the psychological effect will be to weaken the guer- 
rilla spirit of resistance. 

Elements of the Guerrilla Army 

The term "element" as used in the title to this section 
refers to the personnel, both officers and men, of the guer- 
rilla army. Since each guerrilla group fights in a protracted 
war, its officers must be brave and positive men whose 
entire loyalty is dedicated to the cause of emancipation 
of the people. An officer should have the following quali- 
ties: great powers of endurance so that in spite of any 

8? 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

hardship he sets an example to his men and is a model for 
them; he must be able to mix easily with the people; his 
spirit and that of the men must be one in strengthening 
the policy of resistance to the Japanese. If he wishes to 
gain victories, he must study tactics. A guerrilla group with 
officers of this caliber would be unbeatable. I do not mean 
that every guerrilla group can have, at its inception, officers 
of such qualities. The officers must be men naturally en- 
dowed with good qualities which can be developed during 
the course of campaigning. The most important natural qual- 
ity is that of complete loyalty to the idea of people's eman- 
cipation. If this is present, the others will develop; if it is 
not present, nothing can be done. When officers are first 
selected from a group, it is this quality that should receive 
particular attention. The officers in a group should be in- 
habitants of the locality in which the group is organized, 
as this will facilitate relations between them and the local 
civilians. In addition, officers so chosen would be familiar 
with conditions. If in any locality there are not enough 
men of sufficiently high qualifications to become officers, an 
effort must be made to train and educate the people so these 
qualities may be developed and the potential officer ma- 
terial increased. There can be no disagreements between 
officers native to one place and those from other localities. 
A guerrilla group ought to operate on the principle that 
only volunteers are acceptable for service. It is a mistake to 
impress people into service. As long as a person is willing to 
fight, his social condition or position is no consideration, 
but only men who are courageous and determined can 
bear the hardships of guerrilla campaigning in a protracted 
war. 

86 



Yti Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

A soldier who habitually breaks regulations must be dis- 
missed from the army. Vagabonds and vicious people must 
not be accepted for service. The opium habit must be for- 
bidden, and a soldier who cannot break himself of the 
habit should be dismissed. Victory in 'guerrilla war is con- 
ditioned upon keeping the membership pure and clean. 

It is a fact that during the war the enemy may take 
advantage of certain people who are lacking in conscience 
and patriotism and induce them to join the guerrillas for 
the purpose of betraying them. Officers must, therefore, 
continually educate the soldiers and inculcate patriotism 
in thein. This will prevent the success of traitors. The traitors 
who are in the ranks must be discovered and expelled, and 
punishment and expulsion meted out to those who have 
been influenced by them. In all such cases, the officers 
should summon the soldiers and relate the facts to them, 
thus arousing their hatred and detestation for traitors. This 
procedure will serve as well as a warning to the other 
soldiers. If an officer is discovered to be a traitor, some 
prudence must be used in the punishment adjudged. How- 
ever, the work of eliminating traitors in the army begins 
with their elimination from among the people. 

Chinese soldiers who have served under puppet govern- 
ments and bandits who have been converted should be 
welcomed as individuals or as groups. They should be well 
treated and repatriated. But care should be used during 
their reorientation to distinguish those whose idea is to 
fight the Japanese from those who may be present for other 
reasons. 



8 7 



THE POLITICAL PROBLEMS OF 
GUERRILLA WARFARE 



IN chapter 1, I mentioned the fact that guerrilla 
troops should have a precise conception of the 
political goal of the struggle and the political organization 
to be used in attaining that goal. This means that both 
organization and discipline of guerrilla troops must be at a 
high level so that they can carry out the political activities 
that are the life of both the guerrilla armies and of revolu- 
tionary warfare. 

First of all, political activities depend upon the indoc- 
trination of both military and political leaders with the 
idea of anti-Japanism. Through them, the idea is trans- 
mitted to the troops. One must not feel that he is anti- 
Japanese merely because he is a member of a guerrilla unit. 
The anti-Japanese idea must be an ever-present conviction, 
and if it is forgotten, we may succumb to the temptations 
of the enemy or be overcome with discouragements. In a 
war of long duration, those whose conviction that the peo- 
ple must be emancipated is not deep rooted are likely to 
become shaken in their faith or actually revolt. Without 
the general education that enables everyone to understand 

88 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

our goal of driving out Japanese imperialism and establish- 
ing a free and happy China, the soldiers fight without con- 
viction and lose their determination. 

The political goal must be clearly and precisely indi- 
cated to inhabitants of guerrilla zones and their national 
consciousness awakened. Hence, a concrete explanation of 
the political systems used is important not only to guerrilla 
troops but to all those who are concerned with the realiza- 
tion of our political goal. The Kuomintang has issued a 
pamphlet entitled System of National Organization for 
War, which should be widely distributed throughout guer- 
rilla zones. If we lack national organization, we will lack 
the essential unity that should exist between the soldier: 
and the people. 

A study and comprehension of the political objectives ol 
this war and of the anti-Japanese front is particularly im- 
portant for officers of guerrilla troops. There are some 
militarists who say: "We are not interested in politics but 
only in the profession of arms." It is vital that these simple- 
minded militarists be made to realize the relationship that 
exists between politics and military affairs. Military action 
is a method used to attain a political goal. While military 
affairs and political affairs are not identical, it is impossible 
to isolate one from the other. 

It is to be hoped that the world is in the last era of 
strife. The vast majority of human beings have already pre- 
pared or are preparing to fight a war that will bring justice 
to the oppressed peoples of the world. No matter how long 
this war may last, there is no doubt that it will be followed 
by an unprecedented epoch of peace. The war that we are 

89 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

fighting today for the emancipation of the Chinese is a 
part of the war for the freedom of all human beings, and 
the independent, happy, and liberal China that we are 
fighting to establish will be a part of that new world order. 
A conception like this is difficult for the simple-minded 
militarist to grasp and it must therefore be carefully ex- 
plained to him. 

There are three additional matters that must be con- 
sidered under the broad question of political activities. 
These are political activities, first, as applied to the troops; 
second, as applied to the people; and, third, as applied to 
the enemy. The fundamental problems are: first, spiritual 
unification of officers and men within the army; second, 
spiritual unification of the army and the people; and, last, 
destruction of the unity of the enemy. The concrete 
methods for achieving these unities are discussed in detail 
in pamphlet Number 4 of this series, entitled Political 
Activities in Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Warfare. 

A revolutionary army must have discipline that is estab- 
lished on a limited democratic basis. In all armies, obedi- 
ence of the subordinates to their superiors must be exacted. 
This is true in the case of guerrilla discipline, but the basis 
for guerrilla discipline must be the individual conscience. 
With guerrillas, a discipline of compulsion is ineffective. 
In any revolutionary army, there is unity of purpose as far 
as both officers and men are concerned, and, therefore, 
within such an army, discipline is self-imposed. Although 
discipline in guerrilla ranks is not as severe as in the ranks 
of orthodox forces, the necessity for discipline exists. This 
must be self-imposed, because only when it is, is the soldier 



90 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

able to understand completely why he fights and why he 
must obey. This type of discipline becomes a tower of 
strength within the army, and it is the only type that can 
truly harmonize the relationship that exists between officers 
and soldiers. 

In any system where discipline is externally imposed, 
the relationship that exists between officer and man is 
characterized by indifference of the one to the other. The 
idea that officers can physically beat or severely tongue-lash 
their men is a feudal one and is not in accord with the 
conception of a self-imposed discipline. Discipline of the 
feudal type will destroy internal unity and fighting 
strength. A discipline self-imposed is the primary char- 
acteristic of a democratic system in the army. 

A secondary characteristic is found in the degree of 
liberties accorded officers and soldiers. In a revolutionary 
army, all individuals enjoy political liberty and the ques- 
tion, for example, of the emancipation of the people must 
not only be tolerated but discussed, and propaganda must 
be encouraged. Further, in such an army, the mode of liv- 
ing of the officers and the soldiers must not differ too 
much, and this is particularly true in the case of guerrilla 
troops. Officers should live under the same conditions as 
their men, for that is the only way in which they can gain 
from their men the admiration and confidence so vital in 
war. It is incorrect to hold to a theory of equality in all 
things, but there must be equality of existence in accepting 
the hardships and dangers of war. Thus we may attain to 
the unification of the officer and soldier groups, a unity 
both horizontal within the group itself, and vertical, that 



9i 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

is, from lower to higher echelons. It is only when such 
unity is present that units can be said to be powerful 
combat factors. 

There is also a unity of spirit that should exist between 
troops and local inhabitants. The Eighth Route Army put 
into practice a code known as "The Three Rules and the 
Eight Remarks," which we list here: 

Rules: 

1. All actions are subject to command. 

2. Do not steal from the people. 

3. Be neither selfish nor unjust. 

Remarks: 

1. Replace the door when you leave the house.* 

2. Roll up the bedding on which you have slept. 

3. Be courteous. 

4. Be honest in your transactions. 

5. Return what you borrow. 

6. Replace what you break. 

7. Do not bathe in the presence of women. 

8. Do not without authority search the pocketbooks 
of those you arrest. 

The Red Army adhered to this code for ten years and die 

Eighth Route Army and other units have since adopted it. 

Many people think it impossible for guerrillas to exist for 

long in the enemy's rear. Such a belief reveals lack of com- 

* In summer, doors were frequently lifted off and used as beds. 
-S.B.G. 



9 2 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

prehension of the relationship that should exist between the 
people and the troops. The former may be likened to water 
and the latter to the fish who inhabit it. How may it be 
said that these two cannot exist together? It is only undis- 
ciplined troops who make the people their enemies and 
who, like the fish out of its native element, cannot live. 

We further our mission of destroying the enemy by 
propagandizing his troops, by treating his captured soldiers 
with consideration, and by caring for those of his wounded 
who fall into our hands. If we fail in these respects, we 
strengthen the solidarity of our enemy. 



93 



7 



THE STRATEGY OF GUERRILLA 
RESISTANCE AGAINST JAPAN 



It has been definitely decided that in the strategy 
of our war against Japan, guerrilla strategy must 
be auxiliary to fundamental orthodox methods. If this were 
a small country, guerrilla activities could be carried out 
close to the scene of operations of the regular army and 
directly complementary to them. In such a case, there would 
be no question of guerrilla strategy as such. Nor would the 
question arise if our country were as strong as Russia, for 
example, and able speedily to eject an invader. The ques- 
tion exists because China, a weak country of vast size, has 
today progressed to the point where it has become possible 
to adopt the policy of a protracted war characterized by 
guerrilla operations. Although these may at first glance 
seem to be abnormal or heterodox, such is not actually the 
case. 

Because Japanese military power is inadequate, much of 
the territory her armies have overrun is without sufficient 
garrison troops. Under such circumstances the primary 
functions of guerrillas are three: first, to conduct a war on 
exterior lines, that is, in the rear of the enemy; second, to 



94 



~iu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

establish bases; and, last, to extend the war areas. Thus, 
guerrilla participation in the war is not merely a matter of 
purely local guerrilla tactics but involves strategical con- 
siderations. 

Such war, with its vast time and space factors, estab- 
lishes a new military process, the focal point of which is 
China today. The Japanese are apparently attempting to 
recall a past that saw the Yuan extinguish the Sung and 
the Ch'ing conquer the Ming; that witnessed the extension 
of the British Empire to North America and India; that 
saw the Latins overrun Central and South America. As far 
as China today is concerned, such dreams of conquest are 
fantastic and without reality. Today's China is better 
equipped than was the China of yesterday, and a new type 
of guerrilla hostilities is a part of that equipment. If our 
enemy fails to take these facts into consideration and makes 
too optimistic an estimate of the situation, he courts dis- 
aster. 

Though the strategy of guerrillas is inseparable from 
war strategy as a whole, the actual conduct of these hos- 
tilities differs from the conduct of orthodox operations. 
Each type of warfare has methods peculiar to itself, and 
methods suitable to regular warfare cannot be applied with 
success to the special situations that confront guerrillas. 

Before we treat the practical aspects of guerrilla war, it 
might be well to recall the fundamental axiom of combat 
on which all military action is based. This can be stated: 
"Conservation of one's own strength; destruction of enemy 
strength." A military policy based on this axiom is con- 



95 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

sonant with a national policy directed towards the building 
of a free and prosperous Chinese state and the destruction 
of Japanese imperialism. It is in furtherance of this policy 
that government applies its military strength. Is the sacrifice 
demanded by war in conflict with the idea of self-preser- 
vation? Not at all. The sacrifices demanded are necessary 
both to destroy the enemy and to preserve ourselves; the 
sacrifice of a part of the people is necessary to preserve the 
whole. All the considerations of military action are derived 
from this axiom. Its application is as apparent in all tactical 
and strategical conceptions as it is in the simple case of 
the soldier who shoots at his enemy from a covered position. 

All guerrilla units start from nothing and grow. What 
methods should we select to ensure the conservation and 
development of our own strength and the destruction of 
that of the enemy? The essential requirements are the six 
listed below: 

1 . Retention of the initiative; alertness; carefully planned 
tactical attacks in a war of strategical defense; tactical speed 
in a war strategically protracted; tactical operations on ex- 
terior lines in a war conducted strategically on interior lines. 

2. Conduct of operations to complement those of the 
regular army. 

3. The establishment of bases. 

4. A clear understanding of the relationship that exists 
between the attack and the defense. 

5. The development of mobile operations. 

6. Correct command. 



96 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

The enemy, though numerically weak, is strong in the 
quality of his troops and their equipment; we, on the other 
hand, are strong numerically but weak as to quality. These 
considerations have been taken into account in the devel- 
opment of the policy of tactical offense, tactical speed, and 
tactical operations on exterior lines in a war that, strategi- 
cally speaking, is defensive in character, protracted in 
nature, and conducted along interior lines. Our strategy 
is based on these conceptions. They must be kept in mind 
in the conduct of all operations. 

Although the element of surprise is not absent in ortho- 
dox warfare, there are fewer opportunities to apply it than 
there are during guerrilla hostilities. In the latter, speed is 
essential. The movements of guerrilla troops must be secret 
and of supernatural rapidity; the enemy must be taken 
unaware, and the action entered speedily. There can be no 
procrastination in the execution of plans; no assumption 
of a negative or passive defense; no great dispersion of 
forces in many local engagements. The basic method is the 
attack in a violent and deceptive form. 

While there may be cases where the attack will extend 
over a period of several days (if that length of time is neces- 
sary to annihilate an enemy group), it is more profitable to 
launch and push an attack with maximum speed. The 
tactics of defense have no place in the realm of guerrilla 
warfare. If a delaying action is necessary, such places as 
defiles, river crossings, and villages offer the most suitable 
conditions, for it is in such places that the enemy's arrange- 
ments may be disrupted and he may be annihilated. 

The enemy is much stronger than we are, and it is true 



97 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

that we can hinder, distract, disperse, and destroy him only 
if we disperse our own forces. Although guerrilla warfare 
is the warfare of such dispersed units, it is sometimes desir- 
able to concentrate in order to destroy an enemy. Thus, 
the principle of concentration of force against a relatively 
weaker enemy is applicable to guerrilla warfare. 

We can prolong this struggle and make of it a pro- 
tracted war only by gaining positive and lightning-like 
tactical decisions; by employing our manpower in proper 
concentrations and dispersions; and by operating on exterior 
lines in order to surround and destroy our enemy. If we 
cannot surround whole armies, we can at least partially 
destroy them; if we cannot kill the Japanese, we can cap- 
ture them. The total effect of many local successes will be 
to change the relative strengths of the opposing forces. The 
destruction of Japan's military power, combined with the 
international sympathy for China's cause and the revolu- 
tionary tendencies evident in Japan, will be sufficient to 
destroy Japanese imperialism. 

We will next discuss initiative, alertness, and the matter 
of careful planning. What is meant by initiative in war- 
fare? In all battles and wars, a struggle to gain and retain 
the initiative goes on between the opposing sides, for it is 
the- side that holds the initiative that has liberty of action. 
When an army loses the initiative, it loses its liberty; its 
role becomes passive; it faces the danger of defeat and 
destruction. 

It is more difficult to obtain the initiative when defend- 
ing on interior lines than it is while attacking on exterior 

98 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

lines. This is what Japan is doing. There are, however, 
several weak points as far as Japan is concerned. One of 
these is lack oF sufficient manpower for the task; another 
is her cruelty to the inhabitants of conquered areas; a third 
is the underestimation of Chinese strength, which has re- 
sulted in the differences between military cliques, which, 
in turn, have been productive of many mistakes in the 
direction of her military forces. For instance, she has been 
gradually compelled to increase her manpower in China 
while, at the same time, the many arguments over plans of 
operations and disposition of troops have resulted in the 
loss of good opportunities for improvement of her strategical 
position. This explains the fact that although the Japanese 
are frequently able to surround large bodies of Chinese 
troops, they have never yet been able to capture more than 
a few. The Japanese military machine is thus being weak- 
ened by insufficiency of manpower, inadequacy of resources, 
the barbarism of her troops, and the general stupidity that 
has characterized the conduct of operations. Her offensive 
continues unabated, but because of the weaknesses pointed 
out, her attack must be limited in extent. She can never 
conquer China. The day will come— indeed, already has 
in some areas— when she will be forced into a passive role. 
When hostilities commenced, China was passive, but as we 
enter the second phase of the war, we find ourselves pur- 
suing a strategy of mobile warfare, with both guerrillas 
and regulars operating on exterior lines. Thus, with each 
passing day, we seize some degree of initiative from the 
Japanese. 



99 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

The matter of initiative is especially serious for guerrilla 
forces, who must face critical situations unknown to regu- 
lar troops. The superiority of the enemy and the lack of 
unity and experience within our own ranks may be cited. 
Guerrillas can, however, gain the initiative if they keep 
in mind the weak points of the enemy. Because of the 
enemy's insufficient manpower, guerrillas can operate over 
vast territories; because he is a foreigner and a barbarian, 
guerrillas can gain the confidence of millions of their 
countrymen; because of the stupidity of enemy command- 
ers, guerrillas can make full use of their own cleverness. 
Both guerrillas and regulars must exploit these enemy 
weaknesses while, at the same time, our own are remedied. 
Some of our weaknesses are apparent only and are, in 
actuality, sources of strength. For example, the very fact 
that most guerrilla groups are small makes it desirable and 
advantageous for them to appear and disappear in the 
enemy's rear. With such activities, the enemy is simply 
unable to cope. A similar liberty of action can rarely be 
obtained by orthodox forces. 

When the enemy attacks the guerrillas with more than 
one column, it is difficult for the latter to retain the initia- 
tive. Any error, no matter how slight, in the estimation of 
the situation is likely to result in forcing the guerrillas into 
a passive role. They will then find themselves unable to 
beat off the attacks of the enemy. 

It is apparent that we can gain and retain the initiative 
only by a correct estimation of the situation and a proper 
arrangement of all military and political factors. A too 
pessimistic estimate will operate to force us into a passive 



ioo 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

position, with consequent loss of initiative; an overly opti- 
mistic estimate, with its rash ordering of factors, will pro- 
duce the same result. 

No military leader is endowed by heaven with an ability 
to seize the initiative. It is the intelligent leader who does 
so after a careful study and estimate of the situation and 
arrangement of the military and political factors involved. 
When a guerrilla unit, through either a poor estimate on 
the part of its leader or pressure from the enemy, is forced 
into a passive position, its first duty is to extricate itself. 
No method can be prescribed for this, as the method to be 
employed will, in every case, depend on the situation. One 
can, if necessary, run away. But there are times when the 
situation seems hopeless and, in reality, is not so at all. It 
is at such times that the good leader recognizes and seizes 
the moment when he can regain the lost initiative. 

Let us revert to alertness. To conduct one's troops with 
alertness is an essential of guerrilla command. Leaders must 
realize that to operate alertly is the most important factor 
in gaining the initiative and vital in its effect on the rela- 
tive situation that exists between our forces and those of 
the enemy. Guerrilla commanders adjust their operations to 
the enemy situation, to the terrain, and to prevailing local 
conditions. Leaders must be alert to sense changes in these 
factors and make necessary modifications in troop disposi- 
tions to accord with them. The leader must be like the 
fisherman, who, with his nets, is able both to cast them 
and to pull them out in awareness of the depth of the 
water, the strength of the current, or the presence of any 
obstructions that may foul them. As the fisherman controls 



IOI 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

his nets through the lead ropes, so the guerrilla leader 
maintains contact with and control over his units. As the 
fisherman must change his position, so must the guerrilla 
commander. Dispersion, concentration, constant change of 
position— it is in these ways that guerrillas employ their 
strength. 

In general, guerrilla units disperse to operate: 

1. When the enemy is in overextended defense, and 
sufficient force cannot be concentrated against him, guer- 
rillas must disperse, harass him, and demoralize him. 

2. When encircled by the enemy, guerrillas disperse to 
withdraw. 

3. When the nature of the ground limits action, guer- 
rillas disperse. 

4. When the availability of supplies limits action, they 
disperse. 

5. Guerrillas disperse in order to promote mass move- 
ments over a wide area. 

Regardless of the circumstances that prevail at the time 
of dispersal, caution must be exercised in certain matters: 

1. A relatively large group should be retained as a 
central force. The remainder of the troops should not be 
divided into groups of absolutely equal size. In this way, 
the leader is in a position to deal with any circumstances 
that may arise. 

2. Each dispersed unit should have clear and definite 
responsibilities. Orders should specify a place to which to 



102 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

proceed, the time of proceeding, and the place, time, and 
method of assembly. 

Guerrillas concentrate when the enemy is advancing 
upon them, and there is opportunity ,to fall upon him and 
destroy him. Concentration may be desirable when the 
enemy is on the defensive and guerrillas wish to destroy 
isolated detachments in particular localities. By the term 
"concentrate," we do not mean the assembly of all man- 
power but rather of only that necessary for the task. The 
remaining guerrillas are assigned missions of hindering 
and delaying the enemy, of destroying isolated groups, or 
of conducting mass propaganda. 

In addition to the dispersion and concentration of forces, 
the leader must understand what is termed "alert shifting." 
When the enemy feels the danger of guerrillas, he will 
generally send troops out to attack them. The guerrillas 
must consider the situation and decide at what time and at 
what place they wish to fight. If they find that they can- 
not fight, they must immediately shift. Then the enemy 
may be destroyed piecemeal. For example, after a guerrilla 
group has destroyed an enemy detachment at one place, it 
may be shifted to another area to attack and destroy a 
second detachment. Sometimes, it will not be profitable 
for a unit to become engaged in a certain area, and in that 
case, it must move immediately. 

When the situation is serious, the guerrillas must move 
with the fluidity of water and the ease of the blowing wind. 
Their tactics must deceive, tempt, and confuse the enemy. 
They must lead the enemy to believe that they will attack 



103 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

him from the east and north, and they must then strike 
him from the west and the south. They must strike, then 
rapidly disperse. They must move at night. 

Guerrilla initiative is expressed in dispersion, concentra- 
tion, and the alert shifting of forces. If guerrillas are stupid 
and obstinate, they will be led to passive positions and 
severely damaged. Skill in conducting guerrilla operations, 
however, lies not in merely understanding the things we 
have discussed but rather in their actual application on the 
field of battle. The quick intelligence that constantly 
watches the ever-changing situation and is able to seize on 
the right moment for decisive action is found only in keen 
and thoughtful observers. 

Careful planning is necessary if victory is to be won in 
guerrilla war, and those who fight without method do not 
understand the nature of guerrilla action. A plan is neces- 
sary regardless of the size of the unit involved; a prudent 
plan is as necessary in the case of the squad as in the case 
of the regiment. The situation must be carefully studied, 
then an assignment of duties made. Plans must include 
both political and military instruction; the matter of supply 
and equipment, and the matter of cooperation with local 
civilians. Without study of these factors, it is impossible 
either to seize the initiative or to operate alertly. It is true 
that guerrillas can make only limited plans, but even so, 
the factors we have mentioned must be considered. 

The initiative can be secured and retained only follow- 
ing a positive victory that results from attack. The attack 
must be made on guerrilla initiative; that is, guerrillas must 
not permit themselves to be maneuvered into a position 

104 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

where they are robbed of initiative and where the decision 
to attack is forced upon them. Any victory will result from 
careful planning and alert control. Even in defense, all our 
efforts must be directed toward a resumption of the attack, 
for it is only by attack that we can extinguish our enemies 
and preserve ourselves. A defense or a withdrawal is entirely 
useless as far as extinguishing our enemies is concerned and 
of only temporary value as far as the conservation of our 
forces is concerned. This principle is valid both for guer- 
rillas and regular troops. The differences are of degree 
only; that is to say, in the manner of execution. 

The relationship that exists between guerrillas and the 
orthodox forces is important and must be appreciated. 
Generally speaking, there are three types of cooperation 
between guerrillas and orthodox groups. These are: 

1. Strategical cooperation. 

2. Tactical cooperation. 

3. Battle cooperation. 

Guerrillas who harass the enemy's rear installations and 
hinder his transport are weakening him and encouraging 
the national spirit of resistance. They are cooperating 
strategically. For example, the guerrillas in Manchuria had 
no functions of strategical cooperation with orthodox forces 
until the war in China started. Since that time, their func- 
tion of strategical cooperation is evident, for if they can 
kill one enemy, make the enemy expend one round of 
ammunition, or hinder one enemy group in its advance 



105 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

southward, our powers of resistance here are proportion- 
ately increased. Such guerrilla action has a positive action 
on the enemy nation and on its troops, while, at the same 
time, it encourages our own countrymen. Another example 
of strategical cooperation is furnished by the guerrillas who 
operate along the P'ing-Sui, P'ing-Han, Chin-P'u, T'ung- 
Pu, and Cheng-T'ai railways. This cooperation began when 
the invader attacked, continued during the period when 
he held garrisoned cities in the areas, and was intensified 
when our regular forces counterattacked, in an effort to 
restore the lost territories. 

As an example of tactical cooperation, we may cite the 
operations at Hsing-K'ou, when guerrillas both north and 
south of Yeh Men destroyed the T'ung-P'u railway and the 
motor roads near P'ing Hsing Pass and Yang Fang K'ou. 
A number of small operating bases were established, and 
organized guerrilla action in Shansi complemented the 
activities of the regular forces both there and in the defense 
of Honan. Similarly, during the south Shantung campaign, 
guerrillas in the five northern provinces cooperated with 
the army's operation on the Hsuchow front. 

Guerrilla commanders in rear areas and those in com- 
mand of regiments assigned to operate with orthodox units 
must cooperate in accordance with the situation. It is their 
function to determine weak points in the enemy disposi- 
tions, to harass them, to disrupt their transport, and to 
undermine their morale. If guerrilla action were inde- 
pendent, the results to be obtained from tactical cooperation 
would be lost and those that result from strategical co- 
operation greatly diminished. In order to accomplish their 

1 06 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

mission and improve the degree of cooperation, guerrilla 
units must be equipped with some means of rapid com- 
munication. For this purpose, two-way radio sets are recom- 
mended. 

Guerrilla forces in the immediate battle area are respon- 
sible for close cooperation with regular forces. Their prin- 
cipal functions are to hinder enemy transport, to gather 
information, and to act as outposts and sentinels. Even 
without precise instructions from the commander of the 
regular forces, these missions, as well as any others that 
contribute to the general success, should be assumed. 

The problem of establishment of bases is of particular 
importance. This is so because this war is a cruel and pro- 
tracted struggle. The lost territories can be restored only by 
a strategical counterattack, and this we cannot carry out 
until the enemy is well into China. Consequently, some 
part of our country— or, indeed, most of it— may be cap- 
tured by the enemy and become his rear area. It is our 
task to develop intensive guerrilla warfare over this vast 
area and convert the enemy's rear into an additional front. 
Thus the enemy will never be able to stop fighting. In 
order to subdue the occupied territory, the enemy will have 
to become increasingly severe and oppressive. 

A guerrilla base may be defined as an area, strategically 
located, in which the guerrillas can carry out their duties 
of training, self-preservation and development. Ability to 
fight a war without a rear area is a fundamental character- 
istic of guerrilla action, but this does not mean that guer- 
rillas can exist and function over a long period of time 
without the development of base areas. History shows u» 



107 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

many examples of peasant revolts that were unsuccessful, 
and it is fanciful to believe that such movements, character- 
ized by banditry and brigandage, could succeed in this era 
of improved communications and military equipment. Some 
guerrilla leaders seem to think that those qualities are pres- 
ent in today's movement, and before such leaders can com- 
prehend the importance of base areas in the long-term war, 
their minds must be disabused of this idea. 

The subject of bases may be better understood if we 
consider: 

1. The various categories of bases. 

2. Guerrilla areas and base areas. 

3. The establishment of bases. 

4. The development of bases. 

Guerrilla bases may be classified according to their loca- 
tion as: first, mountain bases; second, plains bases; and, 
last, river, lake, and bay bases. The advantages of bases in 
mountainous areas are evident. Those which are now estab- 
lished are at Chang P'o Chan, Wu Tai Shan, Taiheng 
Shan, Tai Shan, Yen Shan, and Mao Shan. These bases 
are strongly protected. Similar bases should be established 
in all enemy rear areas. 

Plains country is generally not satisfactory for guerrilla 
operating bases, but this does not mean that guerrilla war- 
fare cannot flourish in such country or that bases cannot 
be established there. The extent of guerrilla development in 
Hopeh and west Shantung proves the opposite to be the 
case. Whether we can count on the use of these bases 



108 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

over long periods of time is questionable. We can, however, 
establish small bases of a seasonal or temporary nature. 
This we can do because our barbaric enemy simply does 
not have the manpower to occupy all the areas he has over- 
run and because the population of China is so numerous 
that a base can be established anywhere. Seasonal bases 
in plains country may be established in the winter when 
the rivers are frozen over, and in the summer when the 
crops are growing. Temporary bases may be established 
when the enemy is otherwise occupied. When the enemy 
advances, the guerrillas who have established bases in the 
plains area are the first to engage him. Upon their with- 
drawal into mountainous country, they should leave be- 
hind them guerrilla groups dispersed over the entire area. 
Guerrillas shift from base to base on the theory that they 
must be one place one day and another place the next. 

There are many historical examples of the establishment 
of bases in river, bay, and lake country, and this is one 
aspect of our activity that has so far received little atten- 
tion. Red guerrillas held out for many years in the Hungtze 
Lake region. We should establish bases in the Hungtze 
and Tai areas and along rivers and watercourses in territory 
controlled by the enemy so as to deny him access to, and 
free use of, the water routes. 

There is a difference between the terms base area and 
guerrilla area. An area completely surrounded by territory 
occupied by the enemy is a "base area." Wu Tai Shan, 
Tai Shan, and Taiheng Shan are examples of base areas. 
On the other hand, the area east and north of Wu Tai 
Shan (the Shansi-Hopeh-Chahar border zone) is a guer- 



109 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

rilla area. Such areas can be controlled by guerrillas only 
while they actually physically occupy them. Upon their 
departure, control reverts to a puppet pro-Japanese govern- 
ment. East Hopeh, for example, was at first a guerrilla area 
rather than a base area. A puppet government functioned 
there. Eventually, the people, organized and inspired by 
guerrillas from the Wu Tai mountains, assisted in the 
transformation of this guerrilla area into a real base area. 
Such a task is extremely difficult, for it is largely dependent 
upon the degree to which the people can be inspired. In 
certain garrisoned areas, such as the cities and zones con- 
tiguous to the railroads, the guerrillas are unable to drive 
the Japanese and puppets out. These areas remain guer- 
rilla areas. At other times, base areas might become guer- 
rilla areas due either to our own mistakes or to the activities 
of the enemy. 

Obviously, in any given area in the war zone, any one 
of three situations may develop: The area may remain in 
Chinese hands; it may be lost to the Japanese and puppets; 
or it may be divided between the combatants. Guerrilla 
leaders should endeavor to see that either the first or the 
last of these situations is assured. 

Another point essential in the establishment of bases 
is the cooperation that must exist between the armed guer- 
rilla bands and the people. All our strength must be used 
to spread the doctrine of armed resistance to Japan, to arm 
the people, to organize self-defense units, and to train 
guerrilla bands. This doctrine must be spread among the 
people, who must be organized into anti-Japanese groups. 
Their political instincts must be sharpened and their mar- 



IIO 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

tial ardor increased. If the workers, the farmers, the lovers 
of liberty, the young men, the women, and the children 
are not organized, they will never realize their own anti- 
Japanese power. Only the united strength of the people 
can eliminate traitors, recover the measure of political 
power that has been lost, and conserve and improve what 
we still retain. 

We have already touched on geographic factors in our 
discussion of bases, and we must also mention the economic 
aspects of the problem. What economic policy should be 
adopted? Any such policy must offer reasonable protection 
to commerce and business. We interpret "reasonable pro- 
tection" to mean that people must contribute money in 
proportion to the money they have. Farmers will be re- 
quired to furnish a certain share of their crops to guerrilla 
troops. Confiscation, except in the case of businesses run by 
traitors, is prohibited. 

Our activities must be extended over the entire periphery 
of the base area if we wish to attack the enemy's bases and 
thus strengthen and develop our own. This will afford us 
opportunity to organize, equip, and train the people, thus 
furthering guerrilla policy as well as the national policy 
of protracted war. At times, we must emphasize the devel- 
opment and extension of base areas; at other times, the 
organization, training, or equipment of the people. 

Each guerrilla base will have its own peculiar problems 
of attack and defense. In general, the enemy, in an en- 
deavor to consolidate his gains, will attempt to extinguish 
guerrilla bases by dispatching numerous bodies of troops 
over a number of different routes. This must be anticipated 



in 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

and the encirclement broken by counterattack. As such 
enemy columns are without reserves, we should plan on us- 
ing our main forces to attack one of them by surprise and 
devote our secondary effort to continual hindrance and 
harassment. At the same time, other forces should isolate 
enemy garrison troops and operate on their lines of supply 
and communication. When one column has been disposed 
of, we may turn our attention to one of the others. In a 
base area as large as Wu Tai Shan, for example, there are 
four or five military subdivisions. Guerrillas in these sub- 
divisions must cooperate to form a primary force to counter- 
attack the enemy, or the area from which he came, while 
a secondary force harasses and hinders him. 

After defeating the enemy in any area, we must take 
advantage of the period he requires for reorganization to 
press home our attacks. We must not attack an objective 
we are not certain of winning. We must confine our opera- 
tions to relatively small areas and destroy the enemy and 
traitors in those places. 

When the inhabitants have been inspired, new volun- 
teers accepted, trained, equipped, and organized, our opera- 
tions may be extended to include cities and lines of 
communication not strongly held. We may hold these at 
least for temporary (if not for permanent) periods. All 
these are our duties in offensive strategy. Their object is 
to lengthen the period that the enemy must remain on the 
defensive. Then our military activities and our organization 
work among the masses of the people must be zealously 
expanded; and with equal zeal, the strength of the enemy 
attacked and diminished. It is of great importance that 



112 



Yu Chi Chan (Guerrilla Warfare) 

guerrilla units be rested and instructed. During such times 
as the enemy is on the defensive, the troops may get some 
rest and instruction may be carried out. 

The development of mobile warfare 'is not only possible 
but essential. This is the case because our current war is a 
desperate and protracted struggle. If China were able to 
conquer the Japanese bandits speedily and to recover her 
lost territories, there would be no question of long-term 
war on a national scale. Hence, there would be no question 
of the relation of guerrilla warfare and the war of move- 
ment. Exactly the opposite is actually the case. In order 
to ensure the development of guerrilla hostilities into mobile 
warfare of an orthodox nature, both the quantity and qual- 
ity of guerrilla troops must be improved. Primarily, more 
men must join the armies; then the quality of equipment 
Jnd standards of training must be improved. Political train- 
ing must be emphasized and our organization, the tech- 
nique of handling our weapons, our tactics— all must be 
improved. Our internal discipline must be strengthened. 
The soldiers must be educated politically. There must be 
a gradual change from guerrilla formations to orthodox 
regimental organization. The necessary bureaus and staffs, 
bodi political and military, must be provided. At the same 
time, attention must be paid to the creation of suitable 
supply, medical, and hygiene units. The standards of equip 
ment must be raised and types of weapons increased. Com' 
munication equipment must not be forgotten. Orthodox 
standards of discipline must be established. 



"3 



Mao Tse-tung on Guerrilla Warfare 

Because guerrilla formations act independently and be- 
cause they are the most elementary of armed formations, 
command cannot be too highly centralized. If it were, 
guerrilla action would be too limited in scope. At the same 
time, guerrilla activities, to be most effective, must be 
coordinated, not only insofar as they themselves are con- 
cerned, but additionally with regular troops operating in 
the same areas. This coordination is a function of the war- 
zone commander and his staff. 

In guerrilla base areas, the command must be centralized 
for strategical purposes and decentralized for tactical pur- 
poses. Centralized strategical command takes care of the 
general management of all guerrilla units, their coordina- 
tion within war zones, and the general policy regarding 
guerrilla base areas. Beyond this, centralization of command 
will result in interference with subordinate units, as, 
naturally, the tactics to apply to concrete situations can be 
determined only as these various situations arise. This is 
true in orthodox warfare when communications between 
lower and higher echelons break down. In a word, proper 
guerrilla policy will provide for unified strategy and inde- 
pendent activity. 

Each guerrilla area is divided into districts and these in 
turn are divided into subdistricts. Each subdivision has its 
appointed commander, and while general plans are made 
by higher commanders, the nature of actions is determined 
by inferior commanders. The former may suggest the 
nature of the action to be taken but cannot define it. Thus 
inferior groups have more or less complete local control. 



114 



APPENDIX 



NOTES 

1. Each squad consists of from 9 to 11 men. In case men oi 
arms are not sufficient, the third platoon may be dispensed with 
or one squad organized as company headquarters. 

2. The mobile propaganda unit consists of members of the 
company who are not relieved of primary duties except to carry 
out propaganda when they are not fighting. 

3. If there is insufficient personnel, the medical section is 
not separately organized. If there are only two or three medical 
personnel, they may be attached to the administrative section. 

4. If there is no barber, it i6 unimportant. If there is an in- 
sufficient number of cooks, any member of the company may be 
designated to prepare food. 

5. Each combatant soldier should be armed with the rifle. If 
there are not enough rifles, each squad should have two or three. 
Shotguns, lances, and big swords can also be furnished. The dis- 
tribution of rifles does not have to be equalized in platoons. As 
different missions are assigned to platoons, it maybe necessary 
to give one platoon more rifles than the others. 

6. The strength of a company should at the most be 180, di- 
vided into 12 squads of 11 men each. The minimum strength of a 
company should be 82 men, divided into 6 squads of 9 men each. 



TABLE 1 
ORGANIZATION OF AN INDEPENDENT GUERRILLA COMPANY 



Company Commander 



Political Officer 



Mobile Propaganda 
Unit 



r 



Executive Officer 



Company Headquarters 
Message Section 
Administrative Section 
First-Aid and Hospital Section 
Intelligence Section 



l 1 1 

First Second Third 

Platoon Platoon Platoon 



1 



Squad Squad Squad 



TABLE OF ORGANIZATION, GUERRILLA COMPANY 



RANK 


PERSONNEL 


ARM 


Company Leader 


1 


Pistol 


Political Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Executive Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Company Headquarters 






Message Section Chief 


1 




Signal 


1 




Administrative Section Chief 


1 


Rifle 


Public Relations 


3 


Rifle 


Duty Personnel 


2 




Barber 


1 




Cooks 


10 




Medical Section Chief 


1 




Assistant 


1 




First Aid and Nursing 


4 




Intelligence Section Chief 


1 


Rifle 


Intelligence 


9 


Rifle 


Platoon Leaders 


3 


Rifle 


Squad Leaders 


9 


Rifle 


Nine Squads (8 each) 


72 


Rifle 


TOTAL 


122 


3 Pistols 
98 Rifles 



TABLE 2 

Organization of an independent 
guerrilla battalion 



I 

Political Officer 



Battalion Commander 

' 



1 

Executive Officer 



Battalion Headquarters and Three Companies 



Intelligence 
Section 



Machine -Gun 
Section 



I 

Administrative 
Section 



Message 
Center 



I 

First 

Company 



Second 
Company 



Medical 
Section 



I 
Third 

Company 



Fourth 
Company 



NOTES 

1. Total headquarters of an independent guerrilla battalion 
may vary from a minimum of 46 to a maximum of 110. 

2. When there are 4 companies to a battalion, regimental or- 
ganization should be used. 

3. Machine-gun squads may be heavy or light. A light ma- 
chine-gun squad has from 5 to 7 men. A heavy machine-gun squad 
has from 7 to 9 men. 

4. The Intelligence section is organized In from 2 to 4 squads, 
at least one of which is made up of plain-clothes men. If horses 
are available, one squad should be mounted. 

5. If no men are available for stretcher-bearers, omit them 
and use the cooks or ask aid from the people. 

6. Each company must have at least 25 rifles. The remaining 
weapons may be bird guns, big swords, or locally made shotguns. 



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TABLE OF ORGANIZATION, GUERRILLA REGIMENT 



RANK 


PERSONNEL 


ARM 


Regimental Commander 


1 


Pistol 


Political Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Chief of Staff 


1 


Pistol 


Operations Section 






Operations Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Clerks 


15 




Intelligence Section 






Intelligence Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Personnel 


36 


Pistols 


Public -Relations Section 






Public -Relations Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Personnel 


36 


Carbines 


Administrative Section 






Administrative Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Clerks 


15 


Pistol 


Runner 


1 




Transport Section 






Chief of Section 


1 


Pistol 


Finance 


1 




Traffic Manager 


1 


Pistol 


Supply 


1 




Drivers 


5 




Medical Section 






Chief of Section 


1 




Doctors 


2 




Nurses 


15 




Total, Regimental 
Headquarters 


137 


60 Pistols 
36 Carbines 


Three Battalions 
(441 each) 


1323 


124 Pistols 
900 Rifles 


TOTAL 


1460 


184 Pistols 
936 Rifles 



TABLE OF ORGANIZATION. GUERRILLA 
BATTALION (INDEPENDENT) 



RANK 


PERSONNEL 


ARM 


Battalion Commander 


1 


Pistol 


Political Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Executive Officer 


1 


Pistol 


Battalion Headquarters 






Signal Section 


2 




Administrative Section 






Section Chief 


1 


Carbine 


Runner 


1 


Carbine 


Public Relations 


10 


Carbine 


Duty Personnel 


2 




Barbers 


3 




Supply 


1 




Cooks 


10 




Medical Section 






Medical Officer 


I 




Stretcher-Bearers 


6 




Nursing 


4 




Intelligence Section 






Section Chief 


1 


Pistol 


Intelligence 


30 


Pistol 


Machine-Gun Section 


As Available 


As Available 


Total, Headquarters 


75 


34 Pistols 
12 Carbines 


Three Companies 
(122 each) 


366 


9 Pistols 
288 Carbines 


TOTAL 


441 


43 Pistols 
300 Rifles 





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